lessons from America

Cambridge Uni hosts first public screening of ‘Dollar and a Dream’ doc and campaign memorabilia exhibition

Back in mid June, Meghan’s documentary following my US election experiences had its first public viewing. ‘A Dollar and a Dream’ was screened as part of the America Week (sponsored by the US Embassy) at Clare Hall, Cambridge University.

I only saw the film for the first time that morning … and it (and scarily I) looked different projected onto the big screen that evening. Over 50 people came for the screening. Meghan kicked off proceedings with an intro about the film and then everyone sat back to watch twenty minutes of footage which wonderfully captures the mood of America the week before the election.

The film is much less about politics and the election, and much more about the interaction between me and Americans, and a glimpse of what life was like campaigning in the American suburbs.

My role may initially have been as chief protaganist, but thankfully I am certainly not the star of the show: it is the people I meet along the way who are (as well as Meghan, who did so much running with heavy camera equipment to try to keep up with me and also skilfully pulls together all the disparate footage to weave a coherent and meaningful narrative as all good story-tellers do).

The reaction from the audience was generally very positive and also included some good feedback which will help make the final version even better. After people had had a chance to question Meghan, I was brought to the front to sit on a panel of eminent academics and commentators to discuss ‘Obama: 5 months on’. Fascinating contributions from the other panellists, especially a guy who had been a senior McCain foreign policy advisor.

Thanks to sponsorship, there was a drinks reception afterwards. American wines of course! But also a chance for people to look around the college’s new temporary exhibition: a display of Obama and US election memorabilia collected by yours truly. The organiser did a superb job of displaying a selection of my buttons, trinkets, flags, posters, newspapers and more collected from my various trips to the States.

August 12, 2009 - Posted by | global perspective, On the Campaign Trail

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