Kid Candidate Image

Kid Candidate

By Bobby LePire | July 2, 2021

More importantly, is how the filmmaker maintains the tone of it all. See, while serious issues are at play and Pedigo and his wife cry once or twice while on camera, there is a certain playful, fun attitude that permeates almost every scene (minus the aforementioned crying moments). Kid Candidate gets a lot of mileage out of both the director’s sense of humor and the dry wit of several of its interviewees, most notably provocative civil rights lawyer Jeff Blackburn. He is intrigued by the new kid on the block and does not mind stirring the pot just to see what will happen.

Now, there are some issues present that do hold the well-intentioned film back from greatness. The biggest one is Hayden Pedigo’s relationship with his parents. How strained things are between them is repeatedly brought up, but not enough time is explored in how strict or overbearing or oppressive they were for things to truly make sense. Given the 68-minute runtime, these elements could and should have been given a wider breadth.

The editing and tone are pitch-perfect…”

Then there’s Amarillo’s city council itself. Neighbors, journalists, and the like discuss how corrupt they are, but no specifics are given. Yes, a beloved community pool being torn down instead of repaired is a problem, given what else the council is spending money on. However, it’s not corruption, just a bunch of privileged people in a position of power ignoring those they deem beneath them to some degree. While that sucks and should be changed, it is not the same thing as being full-on corrupt. Proper examples are not given, making a portion of the film’s arguments not fully understood by those watching.

Kid Candidate fulls an intriguing subject in Hayden Pedigo, whose love for his community, as well as his sense of humor, is on full display. The editing and tone are pitch-perfect and kinetic. Though Stodel stumbles a bit in casting such a wide net, she fails to examine everything that is in it thoroughly. Still, the documentary is a solid one-time watch and just may restore one’s faith in politicians.

Kid Candidate screened at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival.

Kid Candidate (2021)

Directed: Jasmine Stodel


Starring: Hayden Pedigo, L'Hannah Pedigo, Jeff Blackburn, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Kid Candidate Image

"…a punk rock celebration of the call to truly help one's community."

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