Three of Richard Nixon’s White House aides – H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and Dwight Chapin – documented the 37th Presidents tenure with Super 8 home movie cameras. The result: a unique archive of footage, seized by the FBI during the Watergate scandal and filed away for the best part of four decades.
These videos, alongside other material like phone tapes, news reports and interviews make up ‘Our Nixon’ – a documentary directed by Penny Lane.
The critics, so far, have been enamoured with the film, which enjoyed a debut at South by Southwest followed by screenings at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Los Angeles Film Festival the Independent Film Festival of Boston, and the the 39th Seattle International Film Festival, where it won the 2013 Grand Jury award for Best Documentary Film.
A 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes represents hallowed ground for Our Nixon, and while it’s unlikely to remain at that lofty percentage, it’s a solid start, with the critics especially praising the editing by Fransico Bello.
“A brisk, eye-opening documentary about the Nixon White House, this triumph of editing is composed of homemovies, accompanied by later TV interviews and priceless audio from the secret tapes, making it a must-see for anyone interested in Americana,” say Variety in their review.
“This highly personal view of the Nixon years is, for obvious reasons, a sad and wrenching one-a film that is nonetheless filled with spirit, humor and a bountiful sense of irony,” The Wall Street Journal write, while The L.A Times say “It's a haunting, thoroughly evocative ride.”
The film gets its full release in the USA on August 30th.