2008 Election Documentary 11/04/08 Now On VODOctober 26, 2010

2008 Election Documentary 11/04/08 Now On VOD


On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: the documentary covering 2008 Election night, 11/04/08 (FilmBuff).
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Few would doubt the historic significance of a day like November 4, 2008. But what filmmaker Jeff Deutchman is most concerned with is not a grandiose portrayal of a nation built on the backs of African slaves electing its first black president, but rather seeks to democratize the very documentation of history with 11/4/08.

Viewers of the film follow several amateur filmmakers throughout their day, both in U.S. cities and internationally, from 8:00 am to 4:00 am, cataloguing various states of emotion as the world’s most powerful nation goes to the polls. From enthusiastic Obama campaign volunteers whose frenzied anticipation is certainly palpable, to nonchalant Manhattanites who, although recognizing the significance of the day admit that realistically very little will change after the election, the film makers merely seek to expose their unique experience on that day.



Although Deutchman refrains from calling himself the director of the movie, as he did not personally shoot the scenes, opting for the more descriptive title “curator,” the idea for 11/4/08, is a realization of his original idea and his chosen footage. While a few McCain supporters make appearances, the tone of the film is resoundingly pro-Obama.


Jeff Deutchman
Jeff Deutchman (11/04/08)

Viewing the film nearly two years after that day evokes many different emotions – initial nostalgia and excitement that give way to the unfortunate sentiments of facing the current reality of a society that, let’s face it, has seen very little change in that time. The film is a prescient reminder of the subjective nature of documentary film but highlights its value as a verifiable snapshot of history- the sights, sounds, emotions, dreams, hopes of a single day are all presented within a neat package lasting just over an hour.

As a young(er) viewer, I found the film extremely relatable as many of the subjects are twenty-something idealists.  Deutchman recruited from his extended personal network for those willing to shoot for his film, which also highlights another historic aspect of the film. When Obama was elected president, younger voters had a distinct and unprecedented effect on the outcome and, although it may be cheesy to say, it is enlightening to see such positive action among a supposedly disenchanted youth.

To my surprise, however, the same youthful excitement abruptly turns into semi-‘debaucherous’ soiree toward the later hours of the night after election results are announced. To a dork like me who celebrated that night with a milkshake and one (just one!) glass of champagne I felt as though I had missed out on some huge national party. I also wondered if perhaps all of the enthusiasm and excitement I had just witnessed on screen was really just a big charade put on by “idealistic” American youth really seeking to just throw themselves a big party…similar to a frat-tastic celebration after winning a football game.



Cynicism aside, 11/4/08 definitely seems to be an accurate portrayal of the positive sense of euphoria that enveloped millions of Obama supporters the night he was elected. The film may even currently inspire more people to turn out for midterm elections coming up!

The most interesting facet of Deuchtman’s project is that it as classified as incomplete. He encourages all interested individuals (both right and left wingers) to upload relevant footage to http://www.11-4-08.com/ and create their own version of the film, mashing their original recordings with previously obtained footage.

Creating a film about November 4th today would probably have a more convoluted outcome. It is hard to objectively recreate on one’s past while knowing what the future has in store. Yet, the participatory nature of this project is a fantastic message of inclusion with all walks of life- and very Obama-like in nature. Overall, the current version of the film is a very interesting representation of modern cinema verité. 11/4/08 is certainly worth taking in to reflect upon a historic day told from a myriad of creative perspectives.

I was fortunate enough to speak with the curator of 11/4/08, Jeff Deutchman, before he begins heavily promoting the film. Check On Demand Weekly soon for a more in-depth perspective straight from the source!

- Sky McCarthy

Sky McCarthy
Sky McCarthy is a new contributing writer to On Demand Weekly and a television enthusiast (ask me about anything!) currently working in entertainment in New York City.


11/04/08 is available via the following digital platforms: · iTunes · AmazonVOD · Sony Playstation · CinemaNow


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