“A Celebration of American Democracy”: Kristian Fraga’s Anytown, USA

Edward Copeland and Wagstaff publish simultaneous reviews of Fraga’s great documentary.

Anytown, USA
Photo: Film Movement

Perfect timing: On their respective blogs, House contributors Edward Copeland and Wagstaff publish simultaneous reviews of Kristian Fraga’s great documentary Anytown, USA, a bruising account of a three-way mayor’s race in small-town New Jersey.

Anytown, U.S.A. more than lives up to its title,” writes Wagstaff at the cultural blog Liverputty. “This political documentary about a 2003 mayoral race in Bogota, New Jersey acts as a near perfect microcosm for our political climate; past and present, but mostly present. It could have been called Any election in The United States of America, however big or small, at any time. What makes it even more special alongside other political documentaries of our era is that it doesn’t have an axe to grind. It works as hard-nosed journalism and as a refreshing hymn about small town life.”

“The documentary has been making the festival rounds for quite some time and played a week in Los Angeles earlier this year, making it eligible for the Academy Award for documentary feature,” writes Copeland. “Hopefully, it will be on the short list announced by the Academy later this month—because it certainly deserves it.”

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