Our Nixon

V'13

Our Nixon

Penny Lane
USA, 2013
Documentaries, 85min, OF

© Viennale © Viennale © Viennale

Our Nixon

Penny Lane
USA, 2013
Documentaries, 85min, OF

Screenplay: 
Brian L. Frye
Penny Lane
Sound: 
Tom Paul
Editor: 
Francisco Bello
Composer: 
Hrishikesh Hirway

Production: 
Dipper Films
Pilot
World Sales: 
Autlook Filmsales
Format: 
HDCam
Color and Black/White

Throughout Richard Nixon’s presidency, three of his top White House aides obsessively documented their experiences with Super-8 home movie cameras. H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and Dwight Chapin filmed over 500 reels of home movies from 1969 to 1973, capturing the prosaic and the profound. They filmed big events: the Apollo moon landing, historic anti-war protests, the Republican National Convention, Tricia Nixon’s White House wedding and Nixon’s world-changing trip to China. They filmed world leaders and celebrities. But they also filmed each other and everyday life: Ehrlichman eating dinner off a tray on Air Force One, Chapin’s wife and kids meeting the Easter Bunny on the White House lawn, Haldeman riding a bicycle at Camp David. Ehrlichman was especially fond of filming hummingbirds. They filmed to have something to show their grandchildren. They filmed because they thought that Nixon’s presidency would change the world forever. The tragedy is that they were right.