“An engaging and particularly well-crafted documentary” — Le Monde
In the tradition of Robert Drew’s classic and groundbreaking documentary PRIMARY, Guetty Felin and Herve Cohen’s Closer to The Dream examines the excitement, optimism, and difficulties of a presidential campaign. Part road film, part political documentary, part coming of age family film, Closer to The Dream operates like a time capsule preserving an electrifying moment in history as Barack Obama campaigned to become the 44th president of the United States. Bringing an international perspective, Felin, a New York-raised, Haitian-American, ex-pat filmmaker, and Cohen, a French documentarian and cinematographer, along with their son’s Yeelen and Joakim, immersed themselves within the campaign and chronicled their shared experiences in this compelling film.
The juxtaposition of their insider role within the campaign trail and outsider role as international citizens, Felin and Cohen provide a unique perspective on American politics. Traveling through the 2008 primaries, the journey began when the team flew from Paris to Houston, Closer to The Dream says as much about its makers as the nation they are exploring. The film encapsulates the American dream through a cross- section of the nations political and social landscapes with a myriad of interviews ranging from a Congresswoman, lawyer, nurse, poet, punk rocker, environmentalist, rabbi, and
gay activist, to name a few.
What comes out of these encounters, spliced with sequences of Senator Obama at rallies and interacting with his constituents, is a fresh view of a changing America. Striking a perfect balance of the political and the personal, Closer to The Dream shows a nation and a family on the cusp of a dream. Whether this “dream” is to be fully realized remains to be seen, but Closer to The Dream provides a fascinating view of its genesis.
“A personal road-documentary painting an impressionist portrait of Obama’s America” — Le Nouvel Observateur
Watch the full documentary below via VOD: