In 1999, Governor George W. Bush buys a ranch in Crawford, Texas and calls it "home"; an insular community explodes overnight. Bush declares candidacy for President, using Crawford as the perfect set-piece to project a folksy image. Months later, he thrusts the town of 705 into the spotlight as his token symbol – the President’s "Western White House." Crawford is instantly overrun with international press corps and droves of flocking tourists. Shops open; Main St. booms; the locals watch themselves on national TV.But soon, the town’s compelling characters feel the human impact of political stagecraft. The spotlight exacerbates tensions between freethinking and conformity, pushing a progressive teacher and her favorite student to the edge – and beyond. In 2004, the town newspaper endorses John Kerry; it’s promptly boycotted. By 2005, the President’s mounting problems follow him home. The conservative community finds itself hosting Cindy Sheehan's peace movement. 20,000 impassioned protesters and counter-protesters battle on Crawford's tiny streets. The symbol begins to change.Now, the Crawford's boom is busting like the Presidency itself. Tourists have stopped coming; land is overvalued; the bumper sticker and trinket shops are boarded up. But seven years of political stagecraft have made a graver human impact. Two characters are dead and one is leaving town. Bush is soon to abscond. Left to deal with the aftermath are the real people of Crawford. Their lives are changed forever.
DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Texas Monthly recently named DAVID MODIGLIANI "one of the next great directors." His feature documentary, CRAWFORD, about the tiny town George W. Bush turned into the Western White House, premiered at SXSW last year. Variety calls it "poignant," Premiere calls it "richly compelling" and the NY Sun calls it "revelatory." Modilgiani has made ntaional appearances on CNN and MSNBC do disucss his work and was featured in a recent Wall St. Journal article on his groundbreaking distribution model, which involved the first major online premiere. His mini-doc BAREFOOT features both Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal and he recently completed a piece for the Houston Rockets, featuring Yao Ming. He has a BA from Harvard University and an MFA from UT Austin. Modigliani's grandfather, Franco, emigrated from Rome to the US in 1939.