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Election Day VB Purchasing Guide August-November 2008

Compiled by Barbara Wexler -- Video Business, 8/18/2008

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Biography: John McCain and Biography: Barack Obama chronicle the extraordinary lives and campaigns of the presumptive Presidential nominees of the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively. Both available now; DVD $12.95 each

Cinema Libre

Electile Dysfunction: A Look Behind the Business of Campaigns Surveys political elites, consultants and insiders to provide an analytical exposé for individuals in search of answers. Street Oct. 7, prebook Aug. 26; DVD $19.95

First Look

War, Inc. John Cusack stars in this political satire about a country occupied by an American private corporation run by a former U.S. Vice President (Dan Aykroyd). Street Oct. 14, prebook Sept. 9; DVD $28.98, BD $34.98

First Run

Senator Obama Goes to Africa Part personal odyssey and part chronicle of diplomacy in action, this documentary follows Barack Obama as he travels to Africa. Available now; DVD $19.95


Bulworth Faced with his impending death, a senator (Warren Beatty) feels an outrageous desire to break the rules and tell it like it is in this re-release of the 1998 film. Street Nov. 4, prebook Oct. 8; DVD $9.98


Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock sets out on a dangerous mission throughout the Middle East to find Osama Bin Laden in this documentary. Street Aug. 26, prebook now; DVD $24.95


Taxi to the Dark Side The 2007 Best Documentary Oscar winner looks at the torture practices of the U.S. in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. Street Sept. 30, prebook Sept. 2; DVD $27.98


Dare Not Walk Alone This film tells how African-Americans and their allies in the white community put their lives on the line to force President Lyndon Johnson to sign the first civil rights act. Street Oct. 7, prebook Sept. 6; DVD $24.99


Barack Obama: The Power of Change This documentary takes a look at the presidential candidate’s grassroots campaign, powered by a diverse group of Americans. Street Sept. 30, prebook Aug. 26; DVD $14.95


The Presidents Collection Contains the American Experience biographies of 10 U.S. presidents, including John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. Street Aug. 26, prebook now; 10-disc set $129.99

Screen Media/Universal

14 Women When the 109th Congress convened, the number of women in the Senate increased to an unprecedented 14, and now their struggle to balance family and politics is chronicled. Street Sept. 9, prebook now; DVD $24.98


Liberty’s Kids: The Complete Series This animated series depicts key events from the American Revolution, as seen by three kids who work in Benjamin Franklin’s print shop. Street Oct. 14, prebook Aug. 29; six-disc set $59.99


Standard Operating Procedure Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris directs this documentary on the story behind the infamous Abu Ghraib photographs. Street Oct. 14, prebook Sept. 11; DVD $28.96, BD $38.96


You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown: Deluxe Edition Charlie Brown runs for class president. Street Oct. 7, prebook Sept. 2; DVD $19.98


Unelectable Beck for DVD ticket

On July 17, radio and TV show host Glenn Beck gave a live performance of his humorous political commentary, which was simulcast in 350 theaters nationwide. Arts Alliance America will release the show later this month on DVD with extra features. Although Beck’s politics are deemed conservative by some, AAA president Joe Amodei describes Beck as moderate. “He speaks on both sides of issues and doesn’t endorse any candidate,” Amodei says. Awareness for Unelectable will be largely generated by word-of-mouth, according to Amodei, beginning with promotional efforts tied to Beck’s on-air broadcasts and online. AAA also has rights to The Third Wave, a film about volunteers who go to tsunami-devastated Sri Lanka, presented by Sean Penn. A release date hasn’t been set yet. “We need films that depict things that need to be changed,” says Amodei, and “movies do have the power to change things. I believe documentaries can be extremely powerful if they’re honest and not manipulative.” —Cindy Spielvogel

Arts Alliance America

Glenn Beck: Unelectable The political commentator takes to the road with a live summer stage show featuring his opinions about the people and the politics running the country. Street Sept. 16, prebook now; DVD $19.95

A wealth of political information

The Disinformation Co. first came to prominence in the world of politics-based DVDs more than four years ago, when George W. Bush was running for his second term. The company distributed Outfoxed, the exposé about Fox News from filmmaker Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films, known for producing docs that fall on the liberal side of politics. The film “broke new ground in how DVDs are marketed,” says Gary Baddeley, Disinformation co-founder and president. Beginning with Outfoxed, Disinformation allied with MoveOn.org and other organizations to promote docs among their membership. Outfoxed also pioneered the house party screening concept, in which films are shown to interested groups at relatively small, intimate venues. Outfoxed unit sales surpassed six figures, according to Baddeley. But the market has changed since then, as anti-Bush fervor has died down with his impending exit, and there’s a glut of political titles. Greenwald has since begun making shorts, which have received “millions of views” over the Internet, says Baddeley. Some of these shorts have been added to a special edition of Outfoxed, about to be released. Disinformation also has The Real McCain, which shows John McCain as a flip-flopper, using shorts produced by Greenwald with commentary from leaders of the progressive political movement. Also being released is Uncounted, a documentary on voting irregularities, which Baddeley says should interest people on both sides of politics. The company’s mission, says Baddeley, is to “highlight issues that are not being given a fair shake in the major media.” —C.S.


Outfoxed: Fox Attacks Special Collector’s Edition (DVD $14.95) The original documentary is updated with new shorts. Available now; DVD $14.95

The Real McCain (DVD $9.95) Director Robert Greenwald provides a series of viral videos designed to disprove the “straight-talk” label that has been attached to John McCain; Uncounted (DVD $19.95) Explores how easy it is to change election outcomes and undermine election integrity across the U.S., whether on a local, state or national level. Both street Aug. 26, prebook now


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