Based on Mark Gerzon’s book of the same name, The Reunited States addresses not only the reason for the divide, but also the effects of this political polarization on friends, families, and our communities.
I suffer greatly from “middle child syndrome.” Rather than completely embrace one side over the other, we tend to act as mediators between opposing sides. These last few years have not been fun as a civil war wage on our Facebook newsfeeds. The message of The Reunited States is an important one and likely more difficult to hear with the George Floyd murder and protests that took place after the film was completed. Rekhi’s message is crucial as we complain more and more about the racial and economic problems of this country, and his point is that rather than blame others about the problem, it’s time for us as individuals to be the solution…and do more than simply vote.
This will be my only political argument about the film. One salient point made is that as we can all agree that our system of government is broken, what we can’t agree upon, though, is what parts are broken. This stuck out to me because I wanted the overall film to feel bi-partisan in tone.
“…an essential documentary for anyone who’s frustrated with the state of politics…”
The critical issues of racial inequality, police brutality, and the immigration debate are addressed as a significant point. The film felt like an apologist for a third party, and the political issues brought up are one’s associated primarily with the left. To me, what I would have loved to see where discussions with small business owners, who are the last defense against mega-corporations, all but crushing the family businesses, not only in major cities but also in the farmlands of the flyover states. I’d also add the importance of free speech and being able to express opposing viewing with the intent of understanding and not a weapon for #Cancel culture. While I appreciate Oikara’s role in creating bi-partisan relationships amongst lawmakers, his story felt like it took a backseat to the third-party solution of Ormain.
That said, The Reunited States is an essential documentary for anyone who’s frustrated with the state of politics today, not only in Washington but at home. It feels like a David and Goliath story—up until the point David takes his first “swing” at the giant. We’re witnessing a kid attempt to take down a giant believing he’s going to take a significant beating in just a few moments. Like David, there is that glimmer of hope that maybe things can change because they need to be changed.
"…a David and Goliath story—up until the point David takes his first 'swing'..."