Directed: Matt Nye
Written by: Matt Nye
Starring: Natalia Antas, Agatha Aramayo, Gary Dixon, Ia Ioannidou, Kazi Jones, Saleh Karaman, Ed Klein
If the last few years have shown anything, it’s that being the president, seemingly, allows a person to get away with all manner of evils. Whether it’s insulting the disabled, pigeonholing an entire country as murderers and rapists, giving out some of the dodgiest scientific advice you’ll ever hear or flat out breaking the law; you can get away with it if you’re president.
But in filmmaker Matt Nye’s fantastically concise political-takedown, Anyone for President (a title posed as both a question and a plea for help), we ponder whether this level of deceit is indeed a new phenomenon (it isn’t) and whether any of the alternatives are any better (they are).
Filmed to look like a news piece or political communiqué, twelve vastly different presidential candidates make a bid for your vote as they lay out their presidential pledges, albeit in a more frank and open manner. And, as is often the case with politics, it’s a case of picking the best of a bad bunch, as none of them seems desirable. And yet, they’re all immeasurably better than the incumbent leader. It may be a fictional setting, but it perfectly parallels the US’ current political situation: Biden might not be everyone’s first choice, but Trump’s term has been a mess, and almost anyone would be preferable.
Political satire is nothing new. It’s been around since at least the times of the ancient Greeks when Aristophanes used his writings to ridicule religion and top politicians. But it’s as pertinent now as it ever was, and Nye wields it brilliantly. With a firm understanding of the subject at hand (both historically and presently) and a shrewd and incisive script, delivered by an outstanding and diverse cast, Nye offers in four minutes what many filmmakers fail to deliver in two hours.
I really enjoyed Anyone for President. It’s short, biting, to-the-point and straightforward. Moreover, it’s a great example of a filmmaker utilising the unique selling point of the short film to its advantage, and making the most of current events - in this case, Trump’s presidency, the upcoming election and the need for social distancing due to Covid-19. This superb piece of political commentary is available on Amazon Prime in both the US and UK...get it watched!