The men and women featured in the documentary “11/8/16” have one thing in common: palpable tension about the day in question regarding America’s future. Producer Jeff Deutchman sent film crews to cover a wide range of citizens from across the political, cultural and race spectrum on election day last year, and the result is a kind of emotional time lapse project in confident-to-crushed and resigned-to-rejoicing.
On the pro-Trump side, a West Virginia coal miner wants to see his livelihood protected, and a Miami-based Cuban American war veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder justifies his candidate’s abrasive manner as necessary for dealing with an equally unkind government. Elsewhere, we meet the videographer for ’s campaign, and in Kent, Ohio, an idealistic college Democrat volunteer; both young women will find themselves in tears of shock before the night is through. So will an Latino activist in San Jose who suddenly envisions a dark future for immigrants under Trump.
The disruption of conventional wisdom about the outcome is even obvious in the faces of a proudly cynical, nonvoting New York artist who assumes a Clinton victory, and the handful of professional journalists shadowed — including the political team of this very newspaper — who realize the nation’s narrative is about to change drastically.
Your political affiliation, therefore, will likely determine whether this is all masochism or a quick nostalgia bath. Though smoothly edited and breezily humane, “11/8/16” is still little more than a depiction of parallel roller coasters, one of which many voters felt was headed into a shop of horrors.
Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Playing: Laemmle NoHo 7, North Hollywood