Political campaigns make intriguing feature films.
In today’s climate of social media discourse, along comes a dialogue driven ditty set outside the United States. Academy Award winners Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) and Billy Bob Thornton (“Sling Blade”) star alongside Anthony Mackie in the satirical comedy “Our Brand is Crisis.”
In the film, Mackie stars as Ben, a political strategist for hire, albeit more academic in his approach by comparison to his cutthroat colleagues.
The film explores the often outrageous and unconscionable lengths to which some people will go in their competitive zeal to get the job done and cross the finish line ahead of the other guy.
“Much of politics–and the election process–is absurd, says Green. “Politics has become entertainment and marketing. That’s where this movie has some fun and a sense of humor, in exposing that absurdity, which gives the story its energy and momentum even as the characters are facing some difficult issues that we definitely don’t tiptoe around.”
Classically trained at the Juilliard School of Drama, Mackie has portrayed a plethora of on screen characters in independent releases and major blockbusters.
Mackie described the early influences that shaped in part, his political views.
“I had an 8th grade civics teacher named Greer Rowland, who was really into making sure that we were politically aware of what was going on. Of course, it was all white noise to us back then. Then, all of a sudden, it seemed like everything just exploded in New Orleans. Issues with the mayor, the governor…the World’s Fair had just left New Orleans and there was all this turmoil.”.
For Mackie, this was a turning point in his life and he found himself fascinated with issues like politics and grappling with things like morality.
“During that time, politics became extremely interesting to me because no one had any moral boundaries. There was a case where this police officer was robbing drug dealers and selling drugs to drug dealers in the neighboring neighborhood. One of the people in the neighborhood told the police department that the police officer was robbing drug dealers.
“He retaliated and killed the person and literally ten years later, he was arrested. By that time he was retired, tenured in the police department and so forth. The investigation went all the way back to state representatives. I found that interesting within the political structure much the same as when you go to the local bar at night and the mayor is in there having a seedy conversation. It’s just New Orleans.”