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Movies exist everywhere and --thank goodness-- they are always within our reach.
They are the soft padding the mind seeks when reality becomes too hard for us to rely upon.
Their horizons are limitless, inviting us to escape into infinite dimensions when the narrowness of this world cannot fit our yearnings.
Movies can help us not only escape reality but also handle reality, when it becomes difficult, challenging, or overwhelming.
And what part of reality can become more overwhelming than politics...
If you want to see how the mythology of films treats the many faces of American politics and their head-to-head struggle with federal justice and the public opinion, watch the films listed here.
They are grouped by theme and cover an entire spectrum of issues, ranging from stories about political corruption revealed by the press, to biopics about respected--or not--politicians, to political parodies, to fictitious stories about politicians who found redemption, spiritual renewal and, yes, true love.
Here it goes: A.
Movies about the power of the press and the federal justice system to reveal political scandals and expose political corruption, causing severe consequences for the politicians involved.
Benefits: These films are based on true historical events and they publicly affirm that the press and the federal justice system as the embodiments of public conscience, whose commitment is in serving the public interest: Good Night and Good Luck (2005) Broadcast journalist Edward Murrow looks to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy.
All The President's Men (1976) Reporters Woodward and Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Nixon's resignation.
JFK (1991) A New Orleans DA discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.
Missing (1982) Based on the real-life experiences of Ed Horman, this is the story of an American father of conservative background who comes to a South American country to search for his missing son, a journalist.
Little by little, the father comes to realize that his own beloved government is not telling him the truth.
Biopics about politicians who rose to glory and fell from grace once they were exposed by the press for corruption and scandal.
Benefits: Audiences participate in history and watch justice being restored.
This has a healing, cathartic effect for the old generations and educates the young with lessons from history.
Nixon (1995) This is a biographical story of former U.
president Richard Milhouse Nixon, from his days as a young boy to his eventual presidency which ended in shame.
Beau James (1957) Biopic of the political career of Jimmy Walker, flamboyant and somewhat corrupt Mayor of New York City from 1926-1932.
Primary Colors (1998) A man joins the political campaign of a smooth-operator candidate for president of the USA.
The film is based on real facts surrounding the scandal of former president Bill Clinton's affair with Ms.
Monica Lewinski.
Comedies satirizing political scandals, parodying presidents' personalities, and making light of grave historical facts in American politics.
Benefits: Though light in nature, these movies have a redemptive purpose for the main characters as they expose their human, flawed side, historically hidden behind their powerful, irreproachable persona.
Audiences experience the "human, flawed" side of powerful political heroes.
Humor heals collective woundsPublic ridicule of corrupt political leaders is an redemptive technique serving audiences since Aristophanes' plays.
Dick (1999) Two high school girls wander off during a class trip to the White House and meet President Richard Nixon.
They become the official dog walkers for Nixon's dog Checkers, and also his secret advisors during the Watergate scandal.
Bulworth (1998) A suicidal, disillusioned liberal politician puts a contract out on himself and takes the opportunity to be bluntly honest with his voters.
My Fellow Americans (1996) Kramer and Douglas, two former presidents from opposite ends of the political spectrum, become reluctant allies when they become the target of a conspirator in President Haney's administration.
The two squabbling political foes plunge into a desperately frantic search for the evidence that will establish their innocence.
As the scramble through the real America, they get an unexpected crash course in how their policies affected the citizens.
Portraits of American presidents who confronted national and personal crises with remarkable efficiency.
They portray how strong characters who are also public figures react to trying times and create history.
Benefits: Positive role models are always popular.
These movies teach leadership lessons.
Emphasize good leaders' ability to weigh personal ambition, commitment to public service, power, and need for privacy.
Thirteen Days (2000) The film is set during the two-week Cuban missile crisis in October of 1962, and it centers on how President John F.
Kennedy, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and others handled the explosive situation.
Wilson (1944) The political career of Woodrow Wilson is chronicled here, beginning with his decision to leave his post at Princeton to run for Governor of New Jersey, and his subsequent ascent to the Presidency of the United States.
During his terms in office, Wilson must deal with the death of his first wife, the onslaught of German hostilities leading to American involvement in the Great War, and his own country's reticence to join the League of Nations The Contender (2000) Laine Hanson, is a senator who is nominated to become Vice President.
During the confirmation process, she receives a vicious attack on her personal life and morality.
She is torn as to whether she should fight back, or stick to her high principles and refuse to comment on the allegations.
Although it isn't easy, she sticks to her guns.
In the end she is rewarded for it.
Movies about simple citizens-turned politicians and ran America with integrity and moral conscience.
The characters are fictitious, but the movies are all-time favorite for their inspirational and hopeful messages.
Benefits: These movies serve the average citizen's fantasy to run this country following his or her personal moral code and "do things right".
They have a restorative value for the public when it has felt let down by its leader.
They offer hope and encouragement to follow one's moral conscience for the good of all.
We will always love stories like these.
Smith Goes to Washington (1939) A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the US Senate.
His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.
Dave (1993) Dave Kovic looks so much like President Bill Mitchell that he's asked to stand in for him when the president indulges in illicit trysts.
When Bill falls into a coma, his Chief-of-Staff, masterminds a highly illegal plot to keep Dave on as the president, aiming at becoming president himself.
But he doesn't count on Dave being so popular and keen to continue.
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