Ronald Reagan as a man, as compared to his legacy, is rich territory for exploration, and a line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is just one of the many things that springs to mind after viewing filmmaker Eugene Jarecki’s latest opus, “Reagan” (Jarecki’s documentary “Why We Fight” won the 2005 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury prize). Speaking at his funeral, Mark Antony said of Caesar, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” With a firm grasp of Reagan’s story, Jarecki avoids the predictable and takes the long view on Reagan’s life and influence, while staying centered on him as a man of deep contradiction; an American whose patriotism paradoxically led him to impeachable acts, a liberal Democrat who came to define the modern conservative movement.
Rendered to play the big screen, but unlike the B-movies that fill Reagan’s resume, this may be the best movie Ronald Reagan ever starred in. Through extraordinary visual material, interviews, and research, Jarecki creates a definitive portrait of a man solidly in and of his times, whose policies and beliefs, for better and worse, continue to shape the world we live in. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance]