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07 - Campagnes politiques, tribunes médiatiques

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Jacques Portes

Des élections dans le cinéma américain

Le Temps des médias n°7, hiver 2006-07, p.78-86

Why is it that Hollywood studios rarely produce films that tackle overtly political issues ? Could it be that considerable reticence is shown towards any subject on which electors have expressed their views ; is it that the prestige surrounding the President is such that any whiff of scandal surrounding his emotional involvements makes film directors unwilling to tackle such subjects. Four of the films that have tackled US elections are discussed here : The man who Shot Liberty Valance (I962), The Best Man, The Candidate (1972), and Primary Colors (1998).

These films depict in a relatively credible way the electoral process ; they are rooted in the context of the relevant elections. Most of them provide a sober, if not sombre, portrait of the political scene ; they centre on strong personalities, often the hero-figure of the film, who, at a given moment reduce their political activity or even pull out of politics.


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