Last we checked in with Errol Morris, he was profiling sports fans whose passion for their teams extended into the afterlife. Now, he has embraced another seemingly grim topic with a potential silver lining—young people's apathy when it comes to voting.
For this seven-minute video for young-adult advocacy group OurTime.org—a collaboration with CHI & Partners in New York, Moxie Pictures and The New York Times—Morris fired up his Interrotron and interviewed 50 young people in October about why they plan to vote on Tuesday. It's framed as a tongue-in-cheek look at why so many people their age don't vote—reasons that, in the end, come to seem silly or misguided.
"I've seen a lot of voting videos, and you can't imagine most of them being effective," Morris told the Boston Globe last week. "They usually shame people into voting, or hector or embarrass them into voting." Morris hopes his lighter touch will be more effective.
In a companion op-ed in the Times, Morris writes: "We are proud when Iraqis and Libyans dodge bombs to vote in their first free elections in decades, and then, when it's our chance, we barely exceed their turnout rates. Often, we do worse. Roughly half of us vote, and the other half don't.
"It made me wonder: What's stopping us? Do we have reasons not to vote? How can we hear so much about the election, and not participate? If hope isn't doing it, isn't the fear of the other guy winning enough to brave the roads, the long lines?"
"I'm glad I did it," Morris told the Globe. "You never know if it will have any effect—how do you know?—but I did it in the hopes that it will."
Agency: CHI & Partners, New York
Director: Errol Morris
Production Company: Moxie Pictures
Media Partner: The New York Times