Election rocks docs

Political shift may affect documakers' films

Now that Republicans have lost control of Congress and President George W. Bush has been humbled, have political documentarians lost their biggest stars?

While Democratic-supported causes were largely outcasts during the six years of G.O.P.-dominated D.C., docs like Michael Moore‘s “Fahrenheit 9/11” and the series of pics produced by Robert Greenwald emerged as a way for liberals to try to nudge the national agenda.

But with some of the issues raised in those docs — such as the charges of war profiteering leveled in Greenwald’s upcoming “Iraq for Sale” — likely to be the subject of Congressional hearings, what’s the future of the political doc?

Greenwald envisions his work serving as a sort of think tank, pushing issues if not a particular political party.

“An election is just a stepping stone to action, and action still needs to be taken,” he says. “I think the job becomes more important because there are now people in power who may be able to implement policies.”

Philippe Diaz, head of Cinema Libre, which handled theatrical distribution on Greenwald’s “Uncovered: The War on Iraq” and “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism,” acknowledges that the changing political dynamic may alter the sort of docs his company distribs.

But he adds of the Democratic midterm victories, “We cannot not be happy. But, unfortunately, I wish I could say that now the Democrats are in power, all the problems will be solved.”

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