THE 2016 UNITED STATES presidential election was marked by an unprecedented tone of bitterness, gossip and hate-mongering. In spite of these elements of divisiveness, the vast majority of American voters seemed to share a central desire: the end of establishment politics. For many, the figurehead of this movement was Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator and self-described "democratic socialist" who narrowly lost the Democratic Party's nomination for president.
As we were later to learn, the Democratic National Committee conspired to ensure that 'the establishment' candidate, Hillary Clinton, received the nomination.
The documentary Still Berning examines the resonance of Sanders' message, and asks how the political revolution he inspired might continue.
The Sanders platform was built upon the notion of giving power back to the people. During his campaign, he advocated for free college tuition, a doubling of the minimum wage, greater income equality, an end to the corporate stronghold over the political process, and a government that is more representative of the people it serves. Younger voters were particularly drawn to this message and drove his meteoric rise on the national stage. In order to tap into this audience and engage them into action, the Sanders camp utilized modern-day digital outreach as a cornerstone of their campaign.
The film features in-depth interviews with some of the most influential figures behind this strategy, including the chief directors of his online digital efforts. A revealing new conversation with Sanders' wife Jane is also featured in the film, during which she reflects on the highs and lows of the campaign.
The end of the Bernie Sanders campaign marks the start of a political movement. Still Berning asks what are the next steps for this movement and what role will it play in future elections? What is its staying power? And how can a new political generation bring democracy back into the hands of the people and make it truly representative?