As Democrats basked in victories in this year’s off-year elections, it certainly took some of the sting off the memories of 12 months ago, when Donald Trump defied so many predictions to win the presidency.
The new documentary “11/8/16” follows Hillary Clinton supporters, Trump backers, media types, campaign volunteers, immigrants, and even a disinterested homeless man on that day. More than a dozen filmmakers traced their movements throughout the day and then into the evening, as it slowly became clear that Trump was winning.
Clinton supporters are likely to watch the footage with a sense of foreboding, knowing that the high expectations during the day will be dashed later in the evening. Trump supporters will relish in the unexpected joy of seeing their candidate win.
But the project also highlights the national divide, as supporters’ views of the opposing candidates rarely get into substantive policy but questions of character. The influence of social media in shaping opinion is readily apparent.
Producer Jeff Deutchman says, “Part of the reason I made this film is I personally wanted to get out of my own echo chamber. I wanted to get a glimpse of the rest of the country, and part of that is getting up close and personal with the ways in which we are very divided.”
Many of the subjects in the movie attended a screening in Los Angeles recently, and Deutchman says that “my sense is that they found it to be a really rewarding experience.”
“It gave them a chance to talk to each other and in some cases get into political arguments and look one another in the eye as you are fighting about politics instead of doing it over social media,” he said.
In fact, they followed up with some of the subjects in the movie a year later.
“PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety‘s Ted Johnson, airs Thursdays from 2-3 p.m. ET/11-noon PT on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS. It is also available on demand.