2007 SXSW DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION FEATURE! It is quite possible to think that one’s life is done at ninety. It could be that time in life when it is just best to enjoy whatever time is left. To Doris “Granny D” Haddock, ninety is just a number, as she decided to walk from California to New Hampshire to raise awareness against big money influence in elections. For the most part, I could care less about politically themed documentaries since I tend to think that they all have the same message and tend to preach to one side too much. This documentary, however, focused more on the spirit of one tough woman who truly refuses to let her age be an issue, and I enjoyed this documentary quite a bit.
It had been four years since Doris had walked from California to New Hampshire. Now at the age of ninety-four “Granny D” decides to run for senator of New Hampshire and so starts the quirky adventure of Doris in the documentary “Run Granny Run”. The doc follows her and her son as they struggle to raise funds along the race for the New Hampshire spot on the Senate. Doris may be ninety-four but she possesses a wit and humor that can rival that of any Hollywood screenwriter, for example, the part I liked most about the film, had to be when Doris debated against Senator Judd Gregg and absolutely blew him away. That was truly entertaining to see this old woman speak out against a Senator and he have nothing to say back. I also enjoyed seeing the footage of her long, arduous walking exploits. The fact that she can be at such an age and walk across the country is amazing.
The documentary was directed by Marlo Poras, who gives an amazing look into the life of Doris Haddock. To be honest with you, I never knew about this “Granny D” as she is so often referred, before this documentary. Now seeing this film, I have a great understanding and respect for what this woman has to say. This film has even given me a new outlook on democracy in America.
Yet that said, I still can’t help but feel that this film was still too one-sided. It is easy to justify that the film is one-sided because we are taking a journey with this woman and her beliefs happen to be for one side. I am not saying that Doris’ beliefs are the wrong ones, I am only saying that because the film never came at a different angle, I felt that things she said came off as preachy. Then again, this is a ninety-four year old woman I am talking about here, one who is just oh so adorable in her giant hat with the over-sized feather.
Like I stated previously, I have never heard of this woman, though I am sure many people in New Hampshire know of this warm and charismatic individual. I will tell you right now, she lost the election for senator, yet this is still one of those great underdog stories. To see a woman of such advanced years still have a fighting spirit inspires a young person such as myself. The preachy issues aside, this is a truly heartfelt film and “Granny D” was enjoyable to watch.