The American political documentary has really come into its own in recent times, and “A Perfect Candidate” is up there with the best of them. It chronicles the 1994 US Senate election battle between sitting Democrat Charles Robb and posterboy of the right Oliver North. The movie chronicles the nightmare (For the Dems.) mid terms of 1994 when Bill Clinton looked like he was about to become another Carteresque one-termer, and when Newt Gingrich’s Republicans took over the Congress for the first time since the 1950s.
What is fascinating about the movie is the cultural background, and how an essentially decent but dull (One cringeworthy scene of him looking for voters to canvass in a supermarket is painful to watch.) candidate Charles Robb, a two tour Vietnam veteran, is wrong footed by the conservative right on cultural issues. Bill Clinton makes a very short appearance in the movie, and yet manages to display why he was so highly regarded by black voters.
Don’t miss the “Angry Young Pachyderms” singing “Don’t you know it’s your fault!” during a Republican convention at the opening of the movie, a song that is as catchy as it is offensive to liberals.
A real treat for political junkies, although sadly only available on region one.