New Directors/New Films Festival Shows the Future

‘OUR NIXON’ (Closing Night Selection) After Lincoln — and for mostly antithetical reasons — Richard M. Nixon may be the most persistently fascinating American president. He belongs as much to popular culture as to political history. This ingenious documentary, assembled by Penny Lane and Brian L. Frye, honors Nixon’s peculiar place in the American psyche, rendering the pathos and villainy of the era in a comic, intimate key.

Apart from some old news clips, most of the images come from Super-8 home movies shot, starting just after the 1968 election, by Dwight Chapin, H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, loyal Nixon aides and eventual Watergate felons. Their amateur footage is accompanied by snippets of the now famous White House tapes and intercut with rueful post-prison interviews. The experience is a bit like a demo version of a greatest-hits

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