Imagine Festival: Bob Roberts
In the tradition of This Is Spinal Tap, producer/director/star Tim Robbins’ Bob Roberts is a satire disguised as a documentary.
Robbins plays the titular Roberts, a wealthy, well-connected young man running for a senatorial seat in Pennsylvania who, on the surface, is an ingratiating glad-hander and a believer in the restoration of such intangibles as national pride and family values, etc. However the longer Roberts is followed by documentary filmmaker Terry Manchester (Brian Murray), the more you become aware that the candidate is a textbook case of cynicism and contempt. Only a reporter for an underground newspaper is willing to dig beneath his veneer, and he brings the film to its ironic conclusion.
The film wasn’t a massive success at the time and after having been forgotten for almost twenty five years, interest in it suddenly picked up in late 2016. Why? Well, it was rated by Rolling Stone magazine as the #1 film to predict the rise of Donald Trump.
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