In covering the various institutions of US society, from schools to factories to hospitals to processing plants, director Fred Wiseman has become something of an institution himself. This hunk of no-frills, verité filmmaking seeks to shed some light on the Idaho state legislature process by simply observing the day-to-day activities and the key personalities (perhaps the wrong word?) involed. Lengthy, unedited takes of counselors' proposals for bills and amendments cover a range of topics which touch on everything from curbs on camera phone technology right up to freedom of speech. For those repelled by the behemothic run-time, Wiseman is fully aware of the potentially drab nature of the material, and supplies a foothold by inserting scenes of students being given a guided tour of the Chamber of Commerce in Boycey, Idaho. A refreshingly dense, meticulous and objective work and a must for anyone disenchanted with the overly polemical bent of recent US political docs.
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