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Monday May 19, 2008 5:27 pm

Don’t Count Out Recount

Posted by K.C. Morgan Categories: Drama, Cable, HBO, Gossip,

Recount From the first trailer, I was intrigued. In the next moment, I was checking the upcoming TV schedule to be 100% sure my DVR would capture the movie at the first possible opportunity. And I’ve got to tell you, I just can’t wait to watch ’s Recount.

I had the dubious pleasure of living through the 2000 presidential election - and all the many, many television hours this momentous and highly historical race entailed. Every four years in November, we as a nation go forth to various polling locations to exercise our Constitution-given Democratic freedoms. But on the evening of November 7, 2000 most people went to sleep without knowing just who the hell the President of the United States would be. But eventually, the decision was made…and so was history. The eight years that followed were rife with events which could keep Hollywood script writers busy for the whole of the century. It was a defining moment, it was the catalyst which undoubtedly led to two earth-shattering wars, and it is still something which (at least, for me) remains shrouded in mystery.

No longer will this remain the case…perhaps. The HBO film Recount will take us back to the past, but what sort of picture will this flick paint?

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LA Times

Those associated with the movie say Recount will not take sides or point fingers. “This movie is about our electoral process and gives us an intimate look at how this process went down in one particular state,” said Danny Strong, the film’s scriptwriter. Which state? Do you even need to ask? Florida, of course, the state which changed it all.

Some have spoken out negatively against the film, including Warren Christopher (former Secretary of State and former Al Gore adviser). However, HBO and Strong have defended their own efforts toward accuracy, pointing to many different interviews conducted for the film.

However, fictional dialogue and scenes have also been included. “We feel that the film is accurate, but we’re very clear to say that it’s a movie. It’s not a documentary,” Strong told reporters.

Surprisingly, one camp has been highly positive toward Recount: campaign officials have given the flick great reviews. “It’s a really intelligent, really well-done movie about a complicated subject,” was the comment offered by Ben Ginsberg, national counsel for the 2000 Bush campaign.

The 2000 presidential election is a very touchy subject, and the fact of the matter is that it’s highly unlikely anyone will know exactly what happened with the results and the votes. Recount takes a cold, hard look at the way Americans elect the executive office, and in its way it asks all of us voters if this is really the best system for making such a momentous decision.

But let me also add this, because I happen to have something of a personal obsession with that particular election (I know eight years have passed, but I just cannot let it go). The ballot-tallying system which was used in Florida during the 2000 election was touted as unhackable, accurate in fact to a fault. I recently watched a special on television which proves this theory to be otherwise, as one of Europe’s leading computer whizzes was able to enter (and hack) the system without too much trouble. This hacker, in fact, was able to change voting results - again, using the system which was used in Florida during the 2000 presidential election. What am I suggesting? Absolutely nothing. All I’m saying is that, if it’s computerized, it can be hacked. Whatever “it” may be at the given time.

Will HBO’s Recount become a defining look at this long-gone election? The film tells one story out of many, and does a good job of blending fact with tense, nail-biting tension and fiction for dramatic effect. But the truth is, the die has long since been cast…and we can, never, ever change it no matter what the real truth might be. At the same time, don’t count out this movie as fluff or filler - if anything deserves to be looked at closely, it’s America’s electoral process.



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