希拉里巴舍尔德’s feature documentary debut “Represent” opens with a parade of broadcasters and pundits with ready-made labels for women running for office, each excited to deem any given election cycle over several decades the “year of the woman.” We’re still a ways from reaching anything resembling representative parity for either gender or race in government, but it’s tough to watch Bachelder’s documentary as it follows the campaigns of three women in the Midwest without feeling hopeful. However slowly, it seems that in some parts of the country, things are changing and history is being made as we watch.

In Detroit, Michigan, recent college graduate and campus activistMyya Jones推出她争取成为下一个民主党市长候选人。她选择了年轻的黑人妇女是她的核心竞选工作人员,他们帮她敲门,她的雄心勃勃的意图的传播意识。虽然遇到了很多挫折,琼斯在她的争取提高自己的城市仍然不为所动。在伊利诺伊州埃文斯顿,前医护人员朱莉卓面对不同类型的运行挑战,在大部分民主党区共和党国会议员候选人。然而,她绊倒反对她的面积徇私已导致选票来自黑,拉丁裔和亚裔社区的稀释和发现谁在这个问题上认同她的盟友。她发现反对不只是从她的成熟的对手,但在她自己的一方不支持她的事业是谁。退房威,俄亥俄州,一个农民在家族企业持续,布林鸟, decides to run as a Democratic candidate for Township Trustee. As she juggles caring for her young family and her ailing mother, Bird squares off with the hard-lined established Republican men who believe women shouldn’t be in politics.


In spirit, “Represent” feels a lot like雷切尔·利尔斯’ crowd-pleasing “Knock Down the House“,这也如下的基团第一次国会候选的包括现在代表亚历山大奥卡西奥,科尔特斯和2020 Democratic candidatesCori BushPaula Jean Swearengin, both of whom recently won their state primaries. But there’s a difference in the focus of each documentary. While “Knock Down the House” followed the “Blue Wave” of progressive candidates running across the country, “Represent” hones in on the Midwest, choosing instead to profile women on both sides of the ideological spectrum running at different levels of politics. For instance, the documentary carefully explores Cho’s stand against big government and how Korean history and her immigration to the United States informed her politics today. The movie also connects how Jones’ organizing on campus transferred into rallying volunteers for her campaign, and how Bird’s foray into D.C. politics inspired her to bring those lessons back to her hometown. It’s a nuance rarely seen on shows or movies about politics, which like polling, often flattens together large demographics despite complicated differences between individuals in those communities.

Heading into the homestretch of this year’s election, “Represent” feels like a balm. A reminder that, win or lose, there’s something to be gained by reigniting people’s interest in civil engagement, especially at the local and state level. You don’t have to agree with everyone’s politics in the documentary, but it’s nonetheless fascinating to hear each story and feel reinvigorated and moved by their determination. “Represent” presents a clear-eyed view of American politics on an individual level, a portrait of what drives a number of political hopefuls from historically underrepresented groups to step up on behalf of their communities.

Monica Castillo

Monica Castillo is a freelance writer and University of Southern California Annenberg graduate film critic fellow. Although she originally went to Boston University for biochemistry and molecular biology before landing in the sociology department, she went on to review films for The Boston Phoenix, WBUR, Dig Boston, The Boston Globe, and co-hosted the podcast “Cinema Fix.”


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