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Review: Gerrymandering

Political doc draws an odd line
By BRETT MICHEL  |  November 3, 2010
2.0 2.0 Stars


Perhaps quoting Thomas Pynchon at the beginning of this political documentary wasn't such a hot idea — particularly when the phrases director Jeff Reichert resorts to ("Nothing will produce bad history more directly nor brutally than drawing a line") can all too easily apply to his film. Named for Elbridge Gerry and the salamander-like outline of Essex County after it was reshaped in 1812 for political purposes while Gerry was governor of Massachusetts, the title activity designates the process by which voting-district boundaries are redrawn to give one party an unfair advantage. The line along which Reichert takes his film is the 2008 passage of California's Proposition 11 — which took the power to redistrict away from the state legislature and gave it to an independent commission. It's not the most direct route, and he makes a brutal detour to highlight Barack Obama's career-igniting redistricting efforts in Chicago.

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  Topics: Reviews , Massachusetts, Barack Obama, Essex County,  More more >
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