Liza Politi (L) and Malindi Fickle (R), makers of the documentary BY THE PEOPLE sit down in the Star Tribune Foundation Art Lab for a chat with the Walker’s Reggie Prim, about their experience as filmmakers and the precarious state of the US electoral system. Their film screens this evening at 7:30 at the Lagoon Theater in uptown.
Yesterday as I returned to the Walker two young women were hanging out on the steps outside the Barnes building. One of them asked me what I was doing that evening and if I’d like to come and see their film “By the People” at the Lagoon “about who and what it takes to put on an American election.” Intrigued I sat down to talk with them and discovered two very dedicated filmmakers, touring their film across the country, connecting with local electoral boards and working to raise Americans’ awareness about the precarious state of the American electoral system. In short, with the average poll worker at 72 and many polling places unable to open on Election Day because there are no volunteers to work, the U.S. electoral system is almost at the breaking point. Inspired by her younger brother’s disheartening experience working for the Indiana election board in Indianapolis, Malindi decided to chronicle one election boards’ preparation leading up to the 2004 election. What she discovered is a system so starved for participation that on the eve of the election desperate election board workers were searching the streets and approaching homeless people to be poll judges and monitors. “The bottom line is that our democracy is built on the foundation of people participating beyond the vote,” says Malindi. Their film is dedicated to educatingyounger Americans about the current state of the country’s electoral infrastructure. Their documentary BY THE PEOPLE will be screened tonight at 7:30 in Uptown at the Lagoon.