The Reagan Show

74 mins.
Directed by Sierra Pettengill and Pacho Velez
NR
English
2017

Directors Sierra Pettengill and Pacho Velez in person! Free to Amherst Cinema Members. Free tickets available only at the box office (not online).

THE REAGAN SHOW is an all-archival documentary about the original performer-president’s role of a lifetime.

Teasing apart the spectacle at the heart of finger-on-the-button global diplomacy, the film follows Ronald Reagan's rivalry with charismatic Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, tracing how the Communicator-in-Chief uses his public relations chops to overcome Soviet mistrust, the objections of a skeptical press corps and the looming threat of WWIII.

Chock full of wit and political irony, and told solely through 1980s network news and videotapes created by the Reagan administration itself, the film explores Reagan’s made-for-TV approach to politics as he faced down the United States’ greatest rival.

Sierra Pettengill is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and archivist. TOWN HALL, her directorial debut (co-directed with Jamila Wignot) broadcast nationally on PBS in 2014. She is the producer of the Academy Award® nominated documentary CUTIE AND THE BOXER, and the archival producer of Matt Wolf’s TEENAGE.

Pacho Velez works at the intersection of ethnography, contemporary art, and political documentary. His last film, MANAKAMANA, won a Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. It played around the world, including at the Whitney Biennial and the Toronto International Film Festival. Pacho has taught at Princeton University, Harvard University, Bard College, Parsons the New School, and MassArt. In 2015, he was awarded a Princeton Arts Fellowship. Beginning in July of 2017, he is an Assistant Professor of Screen Studies at The New School.