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The Reagan Show

Directed by Sierra Pettengill and Pacho Velez

USA, 2017

HOME, 12 October 2017

The Reagan Show

This is a superficial survey of the Reagan administration.

What we learn is that while Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ initiative was resisted by many in America and by most world leaders, it brought the Soviets scurrying to the negotiating table and led to the crumbling of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Reagan was pilloried and mocked throughout his presidency, yet when he left the world was a safer place.

There is some interesting documentary footage here but what the film lacks is any sort of serious analysis of policy. And the point is made that later candidates for the presidency had to succeed on television, which is not entirely correct. Television as a medium had been important in American elections since at least the time of JFK (didn’t Nixon lose that election because of his awful TV performance?). And, anyway, any PR lessons that one might learn from the way Reagan operated are surely now out-dated: social media has changed the rules again.