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On its surface, David Modigliani’s “Running With Beto” is an inside account of that campaign — reminiscent of Albert Maysles’ “Primary” or Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker’s more recent “The War Room” — tracing the Democratic congressman from early speaking engagements where barely two dozen people showed up to his status as a nationally recognized hero and poster boy for the “blue wave” that swept the country during the 2018 midterm elections.
Patrick Creadon’s film still captures a complicated figure, a “liberal” only by the Catholic Church’s standards of the day, an “activist” in an almost forgotten forgotten use of the word, who hobnobbed with the rich and powerful and worked — always from the inside — for social justice, peace and progress from the Eisenhower 1950s to the Reagan Era ’80s.