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The Politics of Sundancing

Al Gore and Ralph Nader Join Parties and Premieres in Park City By Keiko Beatie

Where else but Sundance and Park City would politics and politicians want to gather during the middle of winter?  You have independent thinkers, high powered Hollywood types and glitz, glamour and big media galore. Along with new movies all trying to make a point, bring light to an issue and unveiling the unjust travesties of the world.  Thats the politics of Sundancing!

With a dedication of political films seeming to make the cut at the winter resort film festival, you can see and learn so much of  injustice and world political strife during the 11 day festival.  The Michael Moores of the filmmaking world seem to converge into the theaters and filmgoers can soak up the social conscienceness of our times just by watching films.

What makes this phenomenon even more intense is the people and yes even politicians who come to create a buzz about their cinematic tell alls.   Whether it be politicking, jumping on a band wagon, or just good PR, Sundance welcomes political films and the flimflam that goes along with it.

Al Gore made another visit to Park City this year and this time the former vice president made the trek to Utah to promote An Inconvenient Truth, Davis Guggenheim's documentary about Gore's fight against global warming, produced by Hollywood liberal Lawrence Bender.

Ever since losing his presidential bid in 2000, Gore has created a presentation on the future of the world and global warming.  His environmental show consisting of 400 slides and animations has been shown all across the country.  His wife Tipper and daughters are also in Park City to support Als movie debut. The core of the film is a one-man, ever-evolving multimedia slide show that Gore assembled himself and has traveled the globe with his bar graphs, staging event after event for small, invited audiences, free of charge. And he's presented one version or another of this slide show, by his own estimation, a thousand times.

Ralph Nader, whose candidacy may well have cost Gore the presidential race in 2000, also made his way to Park City to check out the many political documentaries and debut the film An Unreasonable Man. This documentary shares the consumers rights activists humble beginnings to his rise to popularity. Nader, who is viewed as responsible for saving thousands of lives with stricter safety regulations on consumer products, was a first time visitor to Park City for the film festival. He was greeted with open arms at the parties and events and even picked up a few SWAG bags along the way.

Sources shared that Gore and Nader crossed paths at a festival party event and were open and seemly congenial to one another.  Other note worthy political films at Sundance this year were:
American Blackout, Crossing Arizona, God Grew Tired of Us, The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends, Iraq In Fragments, Small Town Gay Bar, The Trials of Darryl Hunt, 5 Days, Angry Monk-Reflections on Tibet, Giant Buddha, KZ, and  The Short Life of Antonio Gutierrez.

The Sundance Film Festival is the premier showcase for American and international independent film. Held each January in and around Park City, Utah, the Festival is a core program of Sundance Institute, a non-profit cultural organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981.  For more information on the Festival and Institute please go to the Website at:

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Related Keywords:Keiko beatie, Sundance film festival, inconvenient truth, An Unreasonable Man,


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