Independent’s Day (Review)

This film tells a 2015 election story you probably missed — mostly because it didn’t really happen.

The candidate, Dustin Wakeford, and his campaign are real. But it was all intended just to fight voter apathy — Wakeford, who ran as an independent in Haldimand-Norfolk, is on record as saying he didn’t care if people voted for him as long as they got out and voted.

Independent’s Day, first released as a series of webisodes, mockuments (is that a verb?) a disastrous campaign. Wakeford speaks to tiny audiences of seniors (who throw banana peels at him and try to overturn his car when they mistakenly think he wants to cut their pensions), bored high school students who tell him everyone says he doesn’t have a chance (leading him to to say they’re in trouble when he’s elected), and teepee dwelling hippies (I think) that he mistakes for the local First Nation.

Predictably, the campaign stalls, and Wakeford brings in a “political expert” whose advice includes wisdom such as “The facts will lose you an election.” He’s fine with Wakeford using a rat puppet in a debate, though.

This and a lot more prove to be too much for our candidate. Luckily, his two remaining campaign volunteers know a medical student with access to prescription meds . . .

If you like your humour broad and absurdist (and don’t mind a few swear words), check this film out. If Wakeford can make it and still believe in the importance of voting, then any of us can make ourselves get out and vote.

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