The Third Monday In October

Big Year Productions. 91 minutes.<br /> Billed as a mash-up of Election and Spellbound, this film is a charming portrait of four middle-school presidential elections.

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Billed as a mash-up of Election and Spellbound, this film is a charming portrait of four middle-school presidential elections. You know the drill: There are the popular kids, such as the Marin County, California, girl who admits that she’ll win votes because she’s pretty, “But that’s just the way things go.” Then there are the overachievers, like the self-described “politically obsessed dynamo” from Austin. Yet the one to root for is Mick Del Rosario, an utterly winning kid from San Francisco, who runs on a platform of “More fun! Pure democracy!!!” Adolescent drama abounds, but the real story here—as in adult politics—is about money. Mick, whose immigrant dad works two jobs, makes do with a hand-lettered poster, while his suburban peers and their parents print up stickers and T-shirts. At Mick’s inner-city school, crummy used textbooks are a hot-button issue; across the San Francisco Bay, candidates promise better flavors of Jamba Juice in the cafeteria. Unfortunately, this divide is one of several questions left unexplored as the filmmakers opt for sound bites over substance.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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