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Nothing new under the sun PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Johnston   
Wednesday, 15 October 2008 01:27

Screen image from Bob Roberts

Listening to a podcast last week I heard about a film I had never seen called Bob Roberts. It came up in the podcast in relation to the current American election and the ever more desperate moves of Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin as they try to wrestle the lead in the polls away from Senator Barack Obama.

I found that Tesco DVD rental (which I am trialing at the moment) had a copy so I added it to our list. It arrived today and we watched it this evening. What a great film. In a mock-documentary style a British documentary team follows the election race for a Senate seat of the folk singer, Bob Roberts, whose songs have to be heard to be believed. (There's more...)

The film was produced by Tim Robbins just as the first Gulf War was ongoing, released in 1992, and yet it speaks so clearly to what has been seen occurring Stateside over the last couple of weeks. The stoking of the worst racist bigotry particularly at rallies with Sarah Palin where calls of "Kill him!", "Terrorist!", "Obama bin Laden!", and so on, have been heard when Obama's name has been mentioned is an ominous development in a country with such a divided and racist past. 

We all know that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, but even so the levels to which the political discourse of the Republicans (and tragically many Christians) has descended makes the biting satire of the film Bob Roberts seem quite tame. That being said, Bob Roberts is well worth a look if you enjoy a thoughtful and funny film, and if you are a political junkie you will enjoy it even more! 

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