'Our Nixon'

Terrific Documentary Is Now in Theaters

by Cynthia Fuchs

30 August 2013

The newly released last of the Nixon audiotapes don't quite show more elusive aspects of this complicated president, and for that you might turn to the excellent documentary Our Nixon.

Last week, the last of the Nixon white House tapes were made available online. These remind us of a few things concerning the president, including his paranoia, his vulnerability, and his conscious efforts to cover up the Watergate scandal. They don’t quite show other, more elusive aspects of this complicated figure, however, and for that you might turn to the excellent documentary Our Nixon, opening in select theaters on 30 August.

Comprised of Super 8 footage shot by John Erlichman, H.R. Haldeman, and Dwight Chapin, as well as TV reports of Vietnam war protests, TV interviews, and clips from the White House audiotapes, Penny Lane’s film prompts more questions than it answers, including the one presented by its title. Whose Nixon might these movies reveal, as he performs for television and other cameras, makes speeches, waves from podiums, stands and smiles alongside Pat or dances at Tricia’s wedding? How do the men around him create or cause him, how do they curb or incite? Our Nixon shows views of the president framed by particular filmmakers, views that are now reframed as worrying, because you know what might have been going on off camera, what you don’t see when Nixon hunches his shoulders and flashes his V signs. But you can’t know what you don’t see, you can’t guess at what someone means when he makes even the most alarming comment. The movie is, more than anything else, about the limits of possession, of knowledge, of trust and truth.

See PopMatters’ review.



We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.


//Mixed media

'Fire Emblem Heroes' Is a Bad Crossover

// Moving Pixels

"Fire Emblem Heroes desperately and shamelessly wants to monetize our love for these characters, yet it has no idea why we came to love them in the first place.

READ the article