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Film Traces Students’ Political Aspirations

By Sean Cavanagh — September 06, 2012 1 min read
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Charlotte, N.C.

A new documentary, “Follow the Leader: Politics Isn’t Just Child’s Play,” offers a sort of real-life coming-of-age story for political junkies.

The film, which was given an advance showing at the Democratic National Convention, depicts the formation of political beliefs in three different teenagers—Benjamin, D.J., and Nicholas—who end up on different ideological paths. Each of them has a lofty ambition: All three hope to one day become president of the United States.

Director Jonathan Goodman Levitt was making the promotional rounds through the host arena this week. The film is looking for a distributor, and a political convention is as good a way as any to get the word out. (Not everyone has the luxury of a “Won’t Back Down"-style promotional machine.)

The film has no partisan bent, and it’s received a positive reaction at early showings from the right and the left, Levitt told me. The goal of the movie is to examine the political identities of today’s youth and how their views are shaped, and ideally, Levitt, build tolerance.

“Keep an open mind and confront your enemy reasonably and responsibly,” was how Levitt described the film’s motto. Playing off a familiar slogan, he joked that the filmmakers were thinking of creating wristbands with the logo “United We Understand.”

Check out the trailer, courtesy of production company Changeworx, below:

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