NOW MORE THAN EVER.
At this point we may think we already know everything about Richard Nixon’s troubled 1969-1974 presidency, but there’s always a new perspective. Director Penny Lane found it in a multitude of Super 8 home movies shot by three members of the White House staff who would eventually become embroiled in the Watergate scandal – Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman, Domestic Affairs Assistant John Ehrlichman and Deputy Assistant Dwight Chapin. This documentary consists of their unique look at life in the White House (which often shows camaraderie and enthusiasm among young staff members), as well as later archive interviews and highlights from Nixon’s infamous tape recordings. Intriguing, interesting and cleverly assembled; has plenty of darkness, but also many other shades.
2013-U.S. 84 min. Color-B/W. Produced by Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin, Rebecca Ritchie Brower, Louis Venezia. Directed by Penny Lane.
Trivia: Premiered at film festivals, was then shown on CNN before being released in theaters.
Last word: “I didn’t expect how boyishly excited everyone was. There was a youthfulness, a vigor, an enthusiasm, a joyfulness, and a playfulness. It’s sort of banal but seeing the faces of all these people who supported Nixon and loved this president and were excited about him. Not realizing it, I started to imagine that no one ever liked Nixon; that everybody in 1969 was burning their draft cards and growing their hair out. But seeing the faces of what Nixon called his ‘Silent Majority’ was both emotionally affecting and intellectually stimulating because it helped enrich my understanding of what the country was like at that point in time.” (Lane, The Fader)