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President Barack Obama: The Man and His Journey (DVD Review)

16 Jan, 2009 By: John Latchem

Reliving a Historic Election

Most people hadn’t heard of Barack Obama five years ago, let alone believed he could be elected president of the United States. The reason for his phenomenal rise? Harvard political science professor Graham Allison sums it up best, calling Obama “a blank page into which some pour their greatest hopes.”

Codeblack’s President Barack Obama: The Man and His Journey uses clips from Obama speeches and interviews from friends, supporters and colleagues to attempt to paint a picture of a transformational leader risen from the hopes of the civil rights movement. The DVD, narrated by actor Blair Underwood, streets Jan. 20 at $19.99 from Vivendi Entertainment.

The movie is basically a recap of the 2008 campaign, puffed up with hyperbole and a timeline cleaned up to fit the narrative, as could be expected from a political piece.

It doesn’t quite get all the details right — at one point Underwood states the election took place Nov. 3, when it occurred Nov. 4. Participants are so eager to heap undue praise upon the inexperienced Obama, it’s as if they are trying to convince themselves they made the right choice afterall.

Extras include extended interviews, a Brian McKnight song download, a Bergevin Broters music video for the wannabe spiritual “I Am an American,” and a series of cheesy “Yes We Can” short films featuring characters conflicted about a number of issues, only to find inspiration from an Obama speech.

The disc seems primarily intended as a keepsake for Obama’s most ardent supporters. Those looking for more of a straight biography should check out Biography: Barack Obama (DVD $12.95) from A&E.

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