Brittany Huckabee’s acclaimed documentary feature How to Fix a Primary provides rare inside access to a touchstone campaign in a movement that is gaining momentum as progressive candidates challenge the political system and establishment across the U.S.
The film, which was an official section of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, will be released on October 20, 2020 – just two weeks before the 2020 presidential election – across all on demand (TVOD) platforms by Gravitas Ventures. The film will simultaneously have a DVD and Blu-ray disc release.
You may know him as a CNN expert on COVID-19. But Abdul El-Sayed had a previous life. How to Fix a Primary follows the young doctor as he takes on Michigan’s political establishment in a bid to become the first Muslim governor in U.S. history. With exclusive access and full editorial control, the film follows Abdul and his underdog team in this battleground state as they hustle to gain endorsements from Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (both featured in the film) while confronting Islamophobia and a system that seems rigged against them.
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival said this of the film: “In following El-Sayed’s yearlong journey to the 2018 gubernatorial primary, filmmaker Brittany Huckabee captures the tumultuous pace of a campaign that can turn with a single strategic move. It’s a campaign story, but it’s not blue versus red – it’s grassroots versus the establishment. This is a story not of one person’s political dream, but of a tenacious movement that will not be put down easily.
Opponents have claimed that Joe Biden is a puppet of the radical left. In reality, the Democratic Party establishment Biden represents has a history of blocking progressive upstarts in primary races across the country. Very few have been elected, though their numbers are steadily increasing with every election cycle. Whether Biden wins or loses, his party faces a major reckoning about its future after the 2020 election. Will Democrats make room for an ascendant progressive wing, or continue to sideline it? Will progressive candidates be able to amass enough victories that they can no longer be ignored?
In telling the story of Abdul El-Sayed’s underdog primary race against an establishment favorite, the film calls into question what is meant by a “fix” – both in the sense of an unfairly rigged outcome and of a potential remedy. What it reveals is not a coordinated campaign to steal an election but rather an entire system rigged to favor power and money, with multiple amorphous tentacles. This system may well represent politics as usual – but should voters accept this, or demand something better? By moving behind-the-scenes machinations to the foreground, How To Fix A Primary enters an urgent conversation about the future of the Democratic Party – and democracy itself – in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
“How to Fix a Primary pulls back the curtain and gives audiences a look into what it’s like to run a campaign. Not only is it informative and important viewing, but it is equally entertaining and dramatic,” said Brett Rogalsky, Gravitas Ventures acquisitions coordinator.