Parents' Guide to

The Reunited States

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Docu makes a hopeful plea for moderates, bipartisanship.

Movie NR 2021 84 minutes
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Unlike many political documentaries, this one is truly middle of the road, urging discussion, friendship, and conversation over rhetoric and partisanship. It posits that by truly knowing and caring for people from across ethnic, racial, and socio-political spectrums, people can be more empathetic and understand one another -- and why they hold certain personal and political beliefs. At first a cynical viewer might think the Leavertons are undergoing a gimmicky roadtrip to produce a book or social media content, but they listen more than they talk, and they learn from the people they meet, whether it's a weeping Black mother who recalls how hospital staff dismissed her, leading to tragedy, or Bro, who admits that when she looked up David Leaverton's bio, she was initially uninterested in meeting him.

As an independent, Orman is interesting, because he won't disclose which party he'd caucus with and mentions a few platforms that align with Republican policies and others that align with Democrat policies. He believes that most Americans aren't die-hard to the Right or the Left but firmly in the middle. Even though he loses his race, Orman makes a compelling case for breaking out of the two-party system. Olikara, meanwhile, wants to build alliances along generational lines, hoping that Millennials will stop the hyperpartisanship and learn to talk about what's important to young people across party lines. Bro is deserving of her own documentary because she has so whole-heartedly taken Heyer's commitment to social justice to heart. Nothing in The Reunited States is revolutionary, nor are there many concrete answers about to how to foster unity beyond talking and listening. But the call for empathy and unity is important.

Movie Details

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