Dark Horse Candidate
by Liss Platt
2015, 79 minutes, Color, Sound
The complexity of father-daughter relationships is explored in this quirky documentary about a queer filmmaker and her constitutionalist father. Using her father’s unofficial candidacy for President of the United States as a pretext for making a documentar y about him, the filmmaker takes this opportunity to try to fill in the gaps of his life story as a way of making sense of, and coming to terms with, their tumultuous relationship. Humorous and heartfelt, the film unravels in unexpected ways, revealing legacies born of social class, mental illness, and parenting choices.
Liss Platt’s smart, savvy, Dark Horse Candidate offers portraits of Platt’s father and herself that are at once contradictory and tender, absurd and strangely beautiful. Dark Horse Candidate reveals what – in the face of individual struggles, derailments, and America’s distinctive weirdness – it means to speak and to be visible. With lucidity and wit, Platt uncovers the surprising, against-all-odds resilience of connection.
– Nancy Reisman, author of Trompe L’Oeil.
Highly engaging and personal, Dark Horse Candidate unravels the complex layers of a father-daughter relationship still working through the shadows of familial guilt, denial and vulnerability where one act of political hubris brings the two together in a humorous, contradictory and deeply compelling way.
– Kyath Battie, filmmaker
Platt is a bold and inventive storyteller and goes beyond the conventions of the personal essay film. Dark Horse Candidate is a smart, offbeat, and at times uncomfortable dual portrait- of her father who has been adrift and absent, and her search to understand how to have a relationship with him.
– Diane Nerwen, filmmaker