Journeys with George [2002]

Genre: Documentary
Culled from countless hours of video and originally broadcast on HBO in November 2002, this Emmy-winning "home movie" purports to provide an "all-access pass" to George W. Bush during the 18-month haul of his 2000 presidential campaign, but it's more accurate to call this a revealing portrait of camaraderie among the campaign's roving press corps. Armed with a camcorder and her own charming personality, NBC news producer Alexandra Pelosi (youngest daughter of California Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi) captures a "Dubya" we don't often see: casual, charismatic, and (with a mouthful of junk food much of the time) rather lacking in table manners. History has turned Journeys with George into a horror film that looks like a road-trip buddy comedy. The terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 and the subsequent war in Iraq were more than two years in the future, so this amiable cross-country jaunt now looks like a stress-free postcard from a more innocent time, enjoyable for its candor about the seemingly endless cycle of photo-ops and repetitive campaign rhetoric. What you won't get from Pelosi's video diary is any deeper insight into George W. Bush or the nascent workings of his imminent administration. As a lighter-side companion to The War Room, however, Journeys with George is must-see viewing for anyone interested in the relationship between jaded journalists and the man who would become the 43rd President of the United States. It's unlikely we'll ever see another film quite like this. --Jeff Shannon

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