OUR NIXON (teaser / Kickstarter video) from Penny Lane on Vimeo.
"This ingenious documentary honors Nixon's peculiar place in the American psyche." – A.O. Scott, The New York Times
INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROTTERDAM 2103
NEW DIRECTORS/NEW FILMS (CLOSING NIGHT FILM) 2013
Throughout Richard Nixon's presidency, three of his top White House aides obsessively documented their experiences with Super 8 home movie cameras. Young, idealistic and dedicated, they had no idea that a few years later they'd all be in prison. This unique and personal visual record, created by H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and Dwight Chapin, was seized by the FBI during the Watergate investigation, then filed away and forgotten for almost 40 years. OUR NIXON is an all-archival documentary presenting those home movies for the first time, along with other rare footage, creating an intimate and complex portrait of the Nixon presidency as never seen before.
OUR NIXON begins in 1969. While many young people are demonstrating or dropping out, we meet three squares who have just started new jobs at the White House. Their loss of innocence and their betrayal by the President is the story of OUR NIXON. Their story sheds new light on larger historical themes at a key moment in American history when the age of Aquarius gave way to the age of Nixon.
Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Chapin filmed over 500 reels of home movies from 1969 to 1973, capturing the prosaic and the profound. They filmed big events: the Apollo moon landing, historic anti-war protests, the Republican National Convention, Tricia Nixon's White House wedding and Nixon's world-changing trip to China. They filmed world leaders and celebrities: Nicolae Ceausescu, Chou En-lai, Barbara Walters. But they also filmed each other and everyday life: Ehrlichman eating dinner off a tray on Air Force One, Chapin's wife and kids meeting the Easter Bunny on the White House lawn, Haldeman riding a bicycle at Camp David. Ehrlichman was especially fond of filming hummingbirds. They filmed to have something to show their grandchildren. They filmed because they thought that Nixon's presidency would change the world forever. The tragedy is that they were right.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS:
Director and Co-Producer Penny Lane has been making award-winning documentaries and essay films since 2002. Her films have screened at Rotterdam, AFI FEST, The Media That Matters Film Festival, Rooftop Films, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, MoMA's Documentary Fortnight and many other venues. She has been awarded grants from Cinereach, TFI Documentary Fund, LEF Foundation, NYSCA, Experimental Television Center, IFP and the Puffin Foundation. OUR NIXON is her first feature documentary, for which she was awarded several grants and a residency at Yaddo. She is a Creative Capital grantee and was named one of Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Independent Film" in 2012.
Co-Producer Brian L. Frye is a filmmaker, writer, and professor of law. His films explore relationships between history, society, and cinema through archival and amateur images. Brian's films have been shown by The Whitney Museum, New York Film Festival, Pacific Film Archive, New York Underground Film Festival, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Warhol Museum, Media City and Images Festival. His films are in the permanent collection of The Whitney Museum. His writing on film has appeared in October, The New Republic, Film Comment and the Village Voice. A Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky., his legal scholarship concerns interactions between the law and the arts, focusing on issues relating to nonprofit organizations and intellectual property. Brian is a Creative Capital grantee and was named one of Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Independent Film" in 2012.
Directed by: Penny Lane
Produced by: Brian L. Frye, Penny Lane
Edited by: Francisco Bello
Executive Producers: Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin, Louis Venezia & Rebecca Ritchie Brower
Associate Producers: William Beutler, Scott Bush, Elias Savada, Palmer Stilwell Taipale
Original Music: Hrishikesh Hirway
Supervising Sound Editor & Re-Recording Mixer: Tom Paul
Sound FX Editors: Andrea Bella, Michael Feuser
Dialogue Editor: Eric Milano
Archival Research: Rosemary Rotondi
Archival Film Scans: Kinetta Inc.
Online Edit, Color and Title Design: Ricart & Company
Online Assistant Editor: Conrad Ostwald
Assistant Editors: Kat Hunt, Alison S.M. Kobayashi
Extra Special Thanks: Ryan Pettigrew
IFP PMD Labs Trainee: Anya Talis
Legal Representation: Loeb & Loeb, LLP
WITH SUPPORT FROM: