The War Room

D. A. Pennebaker

The War Room takes us backstage of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign to examine the inner workings of the 1992 Clinton/Gore ticket.

The documentary introduces us to the James Carville, Clinton’s charismatic leading campaign strategist whose straightforward speaking style and passionate appeals motivate his subordinates.

Carville’s intense political tactics are offset by spokesman George Stephanopoulous, who has more of a laidback and quiet talking personality.

The film follows the two differing personalities from the January New Hampshire primary to Clinton’s presidential win while trying to stick to a strategic plan that sees’s them overcome negative press and unforeseen problems.

Scenes include the rivalries between Democratic campaign staff, which sometimes can be amusingly petty, as they go to the extent of accusing each other of ripping down campaign posters – and the romantic relationship between Carville and Mary Matalin, George Bush’s chief strategist.

Co-director of the documentary D.A. Pennebaker is renowned as an innovator in the use of cinema verite and captures both the mundane complications and the emotional highlights of the modern political process.

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