Tomorrow: Nixon Home Movie Documentary on CNN

Speaking of Richard Nixon, a new documentary Our Nixon, which uses home movie footage taped by several of the former president’s closest aides during his tenure, will be airing on CNN this Thursday (tomorrow) at 9 pm eastern. 


Nixon at a rally for his 1972 presidential campaign, which he won in a landslide (Super 8 film still courtesy of Dipper Films)

I donated $50 to the film on Kickstarter back in March of 2011, when the filmmakers were still trying to fund their efforts to collect footage from the National Archives in Washington. It was my first time giving to a Kickstart cause. I was excited about this film right off the bat, because I love all things related to Nixon, the weird cast of characters that made up his administration, and the early 1970s. I also thought it was cool that Penny Lane and Brian Frye, the filmmakers, had found the home videos at the National Archive. Although these movies were seized by the FBI during the Watergate investigation, they were publicly available–it was just that no one had bothered to watch them. 


Chief of Staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman, one of the amateur filmmakers whose Super 8 footage is showcased in the film, films his assistant filming him at the Great Wall of China in February 1972 (Super 8 film still courtesy of Dipper Films)

I saw the movie back in April at the Lincoln Center. It provides a unique perspective on Nixon and especially his closest aides, John Erlichman, Bob Haldeman, and Dwight Chapin, who took the movies, showing them–especially in the early years–as youthfully giddy over working for the president and getting to witness all kinds of historical moments and strange events. Here’s a good New York Times article about it.

Anyway, it has been cool and inspiring to read the emails from Brian and Penny over the last two years as they have announced various milestones and successes and made it to this point where they are airing nationally and showing the movie in many theaters around the country.