Saturday, December 6th - Sunday, December 7th, 7:30pm
Ryan Murdock, 2014, 92 min.
When Louis Ortiz shaved off his goatee one day in 2008, his life changed forever. He looked in the mirror and he didn’t see himself – a middle-aged, unemployed Puerto Rican father from the Bronx. He saw the face of change, of hope… of money. Bronx Obama tells the strange and improbable tale of a Barack Obama impersonator who tries to cash in on the “look of a lifetime” and chases a fevered American dream from opportunity to oblivion.
Filmmaker Ryan Murdock’s debut feature film has been in the making for nearly 3 years, as he intimately documented Mr. Ortiz’s transformation during Obama’s first term and the 2012 election season. Murdock has rolled out this story in multiple parts – first as a 36-minute radio piece for NPR’s This American Life, then as a short film for The New York Times. The 90-minute feature documentary reveals a host of new characters; a manager who pushes Louis hard to “become Obama,” a seasoned “Bill Clinton” who dispenses advice, and a hard-working “Mitt Romney” who bets it all on his newfound career. Murdock captures unexpectedly hilarious moments along this Twilight-Zone-esque campaign trail while delving deep into the question of what it means to be someone you’re not.
There will be a Q&A with director Ryan Murdock and the subject of Bronx Obama, Louis Ortiz, following both the screening on December 6th and 7th.
“Funny and insightful” – Variety
“An intricate and compelling documentary that deftly weaves together multiple narrative layers—the American Dream, surrealism, fatherhood, race relations, celebrity” – VICE
“9 out of 10…An achievement in tone, finding the perfect balance between thought-provoking and entertaining film.” - The Arts Guild
“4 out of 5…Hollywood itself couldn’t have crafted a more perfectly sad story and equally deserved triumph.” - We Got This Covered