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See Granny D Run

Doris Haddock aka Granny D NH FILM

How many people pushing 100 can say they have their own web site, a paperback book and a new DVD? Granny D can. The new documentary traces her unsuccessful attempt to unseat NH Senator Judd Gregg in 2004. Amid the NH political spin, Run Granny, Run is a rare moment of pathos.

AVailable on DVD (click to see)

 

 

 

Run Granny, Run, the Documentary 

BUY THE DVD at the official Granny D web site 

 

When Burt Cohen was forced to abandon his senatorial race against two-time incumbent and former governor Judd Gregg, Granny D stepped in to pinch hit for the Democrats. This documentary follows the unlikely 94-year old candidate through her strenuous senatorial campaign. Her opening salvo on the statehouse steps was worthy of a Kennedy. It began:

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"I am the angry grandmother of a New Hampshire family come off my porch to ask young Judd what in the world he is thinking when he supports military misadventure!"

To see her marching in a street parade at 94 can bring tears to your eyes just for its sheer blind hopefulness. When the crowd begins singing "Go, Granny Go!" even her supporters begin dreaming of "a huge transcendent vote". Without any advertising money, the Granny D campaigners must rely on public relations.

In a beautifully agonizing moment in the documentary, Granny tries to hold morning briefing sessions while she walks five miles. Wheezing and angry, she finds she can neither hear nor understand her campaign manager when she is struggling to walk. Her multi-tasking days are over. The scene then cuts to an even more powerful moment as the candidate comforts her elderly daughter who, due to Alzheimer’s disease, no longer recognizes her own mother. And yet Granny marches on, assisted here by her 69-year old son and road manager.

Now pushing 100, Granny D narrates the documentary of her run for senator. Her voiceover alone is a work of art, spoken with verve and dramatic expression. Directed, produced, recorded and shot by Marlo Poras, "Run Granny, Run" is the story of a loser and, at the same time, among the most winning and hopeful documentaries ever made about the American political process.

"The professional politicians have not worked out," Granny D says at one of her initial public rallies. "We thank them for trying their best under the constraints of a corrupt system."

But can she win?

"I love the smell of landslides in the morning," Granny says. No political speeches read more like poetry than hers.

While other political candidates shy away from controversy, Granny D runs directly into the fire. In one sequence she describes smoking marijuana for the first time with actor Woody Harroldson. She is unflappable in her attacks on George Bush, Halliburton and the Iraq War. But on the way to a televised debate with Senator Gregg, Granny D forgets her teeth and has to go back for them. Her debate with Gregg is as heart stopping as any Hollywood car chase.

"We were surprised as the rest," Granny D said the day after her debate with Gregg, "that we kicked his ass… I have shown my mettle as a candidate, and now it is time for some check-writing around here!"

Granny D didn’t win, of course, despite making mincemeat of her Republican opponent in the debate. She had no money for TV commercials. At this moment the Gregg machine plods on, awaiting a challenge from former NH governor Jeanne Shaheen.

Now 97, Granny D has a new DVD of her documentary to go with her book "Granny D: You’re Never Too Old to Raise a Little Hell." She has a web site and her own entry in Wikipedia. How many of us, centenarians included, can say more? – JDR

 


 

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