The Congress (1988)

congress “The promise of congress is that at the heart of the government will be people who are very much like ourselves, who are part of our local community, not separated from it and bring to the center of government, the sensibilities, the sensitivities and we hope, the common sense that you find in American communities across the land” – David McCullough

Number of Times Seen – 1 (29 Mar 2016)

Brief Synopsis – Documentary that profiles the rich history of the Congress from its beginning in the late 1780’s thru the end of the 1980’s.

My Take on it – Being a fan of American History, I was quite happy to find this film.

It gives us an in-depth (although abbreviated) history of the Legislative Branch of the US Governmental system from its incarnation until the modern age.

In just 90 minutes, we are treated to such a rich history that has been populated by nearly 10,000 different politicians over the past 230 years.

We get in depth interviews with historians, former politicians who served in congress and of course some of the influential workers behind the scenes of the hallowed halls of The Capital for decades.

This was one of Ken Burns’ first documentaries, and he was able to give us a taste of this vast subject.

I hope that one day he (or someone else) chooses to expand on this subject in a long form documentary miniseries that can really tackle this comprehensive subject.

90 minutes is great, but so much is missing due to the film’s length.

Also, due to the fact that this was made nearly 30 years ago, much of the recent history of the subject is also missing from this film.

Bottom Line – Excellent abbreviate history of the governing body of the US Legislative Branch. Great insight by historians, former Congressmen and Senators and of course workers from within those hallowed halls on Capitol Hill. Burns gives us an amazing taste of such a comprehensive subject. It’s too bad it wasn’t much much longer and I’d love to see an addition for the nearly thirty years since this came out. Highly recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The documentary features use of photographs, paintings, and film from sessions of Congress, in its implementation of the Ken Burns Effect (From Wikipedia)

Rating – Oscar Worthy


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3 thoughts on “The Congress (1988)

  1. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1988 |

  3. Pingback: Advise & Consent (1962) |

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