Gerrymandering 2009 NR

Amazon Instant Video

(6) IMDb 7.2/10

Right now, across the country, our two major political parties are gearing up for a once-a-decade war whose winner will control Congress for the next ten years, and possibly more.

Starring:
Dave Aronberg, Ben Barnes
Runtime:
1 hour 18 minutes

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Gerrymandering

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Jeff Reichert
Starring Dave Aronberg, Ben Barnes
Supporting actors Gray Davis, Howard Dean, Kathay Feng, Bob Graham, Susan Lerner, Justin Levitt, Alan S. Lowenthal, Ed Rollins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Peter Wagner, Jeff Wice, Pete Wilson
Studio Snagfilms
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 3-day viewing period.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The timely new documentary from Jeff Reichert "Gerrymandering" makes one wonder just what has gone so wrong with the American political party system. As a form of legislative self interest, incumbents are part of the process that rezones voting districts to all but eliminate potential competition. Whether targeting areas by politics, by race, or simply in response to an individual threat--the movie offers ample examples that will mystify and disturb you. This is a truly bipartisan arena, though, for when you are the alleged victim of gerrymandering (named after Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry) then you become its vocal opponent. If, however, you benefit from it (whether directly or indirectly), it's simply a well established part of the "democratic" process. The movie covers lots of historical ground and in stock footage, a lot of famous faces speak about the process in extremely critical ways.

The narrative of "Gerrymandering" revolves around California's 2008 fight to pass Proposition 11 at the state elections. Activist Kathay Feng, who has been in this battle through many voting cycles, spearheads a grassroots movement to take the redistricting power away from the presiding politicians that can misappropriate its impact. One of this year's (as opposed to prior elections) biggest supporters is Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is featured prominently within the film speaking for reform. As this part of the documentary moves toward election day, Reichert gives us other great examples (some modern, some not) of where the process has resulted in dubious outcomes. Some examples: The national headline story of about Tom DeLay and the missing busload of Texas Democrats as well as a look at President Obama's ascendency.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 23, 2012
Format: DVD
It has been mathematically proven that there is no form of voting that is completely fair, in the sense that all votes have equal weight. There are many things that can be done to make the process fairer, but it is impossible to eliminate all inequities, some of which are far worse than others.
Gerrymandering is the process of drawing the boundaries of voting districts so that one party is essentially guaranteed victory in every election. It is a cynical operation, for when the boundaries are drawn, in most cases representatives of the Democratic and Republican parties collaborate, trading off sections of territory in order to get what they want. The end result is often a district that is incredibly convoluted, with sections connected by very thin regions. It is so ridiculous that in some cases the connection is nothing more than the lanes of a highway. The end result is that most votes for members of representative bodies have no real political value.
While Gerrymandering has been done since the dawn of representative democracy, the ability to determine the voting tendencies of small regions has made it into a fairly precise political operation. The unfortunate part is that it is arguably the greatest threat that the American democracy currently faces. With so few districts actually competitive between the parties, the representatives are less responsive to their constituents.
As a lifelong resident of Iowa, I was pleased when it was reported on this video that Iowa does the best job of all the states in defining voting districts. That optimism was tempered by hearing the statement that this is because Iowa is largely homogenous in the sense that slicing and dicing regions will generally have little effect.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Yeager on November 20, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
A great documentary on our broken system of electing representatives. This video will take you inside the history and process of gerrymandering.
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