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Archive for February 25th, 2020

by J.D. Lafrance

When Tim Robbins’ mockumentary Bob Roberts was released in 1992 it was regarded as topical biting political satire, taking jabs at both Democrats and Republicans as well as the media that covers them. The film’s titular character was a hilariously creepy mash-up of Bob Dylan and Gordon Gekko, one that seemed like an extreme character carefully crafted by Robbins to comment on the political climate at the time. George Bush was on his way out of the Presidency making way for Bill Clinton and so Bob Roberts acted as kind of a transition between them.

In retrospect, Robbins was trying to warn us. America has elected a real-life Bob Roberts in the form of billionaire tycoon Donald Trump. Both men are polarizing figures appealing to disenfranchised white people on a grass roots level that is as fascinating to watch as it is more than a little scary as they tap into an ugly xenophobic streak that lurks in the heart of the country. As a result, Robbins’ film has gradually morphed from mockumentary into documentary.

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