11 January 2015 | vchimpanzee
Not pleasant, radical and somewhat biased, but important
The movie starts with what appears to be documentary footage of protests at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston.
Later we learn Jake filmed the footage and is showing it to Chloe, who works at BCN and is also his romantic interest. They don't have a perfect relationship, though, since Chloe cares about getting ahead and Jake cares about the truth.
The Republican Convention is coming up in New York City, and BCN wants Jake to cover the "war" taking place in the streets. Jake has experience with war, having been the first "embedded" journalist in Iraq.
Before the convention, though, Jake and his sound man Dexter film some opinions of people in general, including a wacko who thinks Bush caused 9-11, and rapper Immortal Technique, who is angry about the way black people and other minorities are disrespected by cops and others.
Jake meets Richie, who raises homing pigeons with his father Cruz, who is serving in Iraq. They become friends, and Jake also develops a relationship with Richie's mother Tina, who explains that her husband was killed but Richie doesn't know it.
Soon Jake is learning about the protests and those who are participating, including one group that wears masks so its members will be anonymous. While Jake believes he is doing good, BCN and its president of programming Bob Kramer, who was once a journalist but now considers himself a businessman interested in his company's success, want to help Homeland Security keep track of potential terrorists.
The ending is pretty amazing if disturbing.
If you are a Bush-Cheney supporter who believes in conservative values, this movie may not be for you. The conservative point of view is presented but mostly to be ridiculed or criticized. Those who served in the military are respected and praised, but why they were serving is another matter.
Of course the protesters are more than just lazy people looking for an excuse to make trouble as some of the conservatives think. But they are working hard to take a stand and drive change. If they were lazy they'd just back down from all the adversity.
Rosario Dawson does a great job as a mother who is trying to cope and seems reasonably happy considering her circumstances. And she is pushing her son to be more than she is.
Nathan Crooker does a good job as an idealistic journalist.
The real stars of the movie are the ordinary people. Most appear to be merely actors but they come across as more. And there is a lot of what appears to be real footage.
And of course the convention itself was real. According to this movie, though, Bush didn't speak at night, but I guess that's a minor criticism. Maybe it wasn't safe to film that part of the powerful climactic scene during the day.
There is some violence, but it's not too bad. I'm so glad I saw this movie cleaned up for TV, because the sound went out a lot.
It's not what we would like to see, and it's not necessarily the truth, but it's what we need to see. If only to make us think.