The Image Formed
Previewing the 12th Austin Film Festival
Third Monday in October
D: Vanessa RothImagine Vote for Pedro: The Documentary, and you've got half the appeal of this lively and insightful chronicle of middle school class elections, backdropped by the 2004 presidential elections. The film follows 11 candidates from four schools as they vie for student-council leadership creating their platforms ("We all know we need better-smelling bathrooms"), writing their slogans, giving their speeches, and waiting for the principal's fateful announcement. "I think I'll win because I have ribbon dancers in my speech," says one kid, who's campaigning in order to "miss fourth period." Other candidates are more driven. At Atlanta's midtown Inman Middle School, three friends from the cheerleading squad square off in the race, which is finally decided by a margin of 12 votes. There's built-in drama and built-in humor, but director Roth is gentle with her subjects and their youthful aspirations. Ultimately the film gives voice to the kids' feelings about government and the political process. Highly recommended. M.I.
10/20, 7:15pm, IMAX; 10/23, 7pm, Arbor