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With: Pete Buttigieg, Chasten Buttigieg, Lis Smith, Mike Schmuhl, Al Sharpton
Written by: Jeff Seymann Gilbert, Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss
Directed by: Jesse Moss
MPAA Rating: R for language
Running Time: 96
Date: 11/12/2021

Mayor Pete (2021)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

History Man

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Documentary filmmaker Jesse Moss (The Overnighters, Boys State) was granted access to former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg as he hit the campaign trail to run for President of the United States, and became the first openly gay man to do so. The resulting film, Mayor Pete, has dramatic highlights such as Pete unexpectedly winning the Iowa caucus, or having to return home when a South Bend police officer shot and killed a Black man, Eric J. Logan. But the length of the shoot allows Moss to include many small, intimate moments, and to explore the movie's emerging theme. Pete gained popularity by being authentic and honest, but as the stakes are raised, he finds that his attempts to be authentic are becoming more... calculated. This struggle, and his struggle to connect his own "outsider" status with the "outsider" status of so many other Americans, create more powerful conflict than even the election itself. Even though the outcome is now known, the film leaves off with the sense that we have not heard the last of Pete.

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