SXSW 2019 Review: RUNNING WITH BETO

SXSW “Running With Beto” Audience Award Winning Documentary Available on HBO

By Liz Lopez

Rating B+

Director David Modigliani’s documentary, “Running With Beto” had multiple screenings during the SXSW Film Festival this past March and went on to win the Audience Award in the Documentary Spotlight category. The documentary shows the audience about Beto O’Rourke’s run for the Texas Senate. The film screened approximately three times to a packed audience, and I was glad to be able to view it on the last day of the festival after the awards announcement. Beto was in attendance at one of the screenings, but it was not the one I attended. 

“Running With Beto” captures many scenes from the campaign where very few people attended the scheduled events, as well as those where Beto is gaining momentum and national recognition, putting the Texas 2018 midterm elections in the spotlight. For anyone who has not really kept up with what all the “Beto” hype was all about during the campaign, the film fills in the blanks in several ways. It wasn’t all easy and not everyone was on the Beto train as we see during the film.  His door-to-door strategy was popular with many, but it was not embraced by all who had volunteers at their door – and this too is shown on camera.

We also see how so many volunteers were putting in time to register voters, something that was important and 2018 had great results when it came to voter turnout. After all, the O’Rourke campaign stood out when the charismatic candidate visited all 254 counties in the state so people would know who he was and to hear their concerns.

It was good to see footage of O’Rourke, his wife Amy and three children try to have a normal life despite the strain from the campaign in general. It does not take long to see how he connects with people, no matter what age. Yes, we already know the status of that Senate campaign and now he is in another race for a very different job. I don’t know if anyone is following him on this current campaign, but I highly recommend viewing the film to learn more about this individual, among the many who have thrown their hat in the ring.

The one hour and 32 minute film has had some limited theatrical screenings around the nation since SXSW in March and now, David Modigliani’s award winning doc is now on HBO as well as On Demand. Find details https://www.hbo.com/documentaries/running-with-beto

Source: HBO, SXSW

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