With 'Courage, New Hampshire,' tea party movement enters world of entertainment
Shot on a shoestring budget, "Courage, New Hampshire" is intended to depict traditional American values espoused by the tea party movement. But the show is yet to win a TV distribution deal, so it will premier Sunday night in a movie theater then come out on DVD.
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He likens the national political profile to “a dumbbell, with each end getting more extreme.”Skip to next paragraph
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The fragmentation of the media landscape into niche outlets holds promise for programming with a limited market appeal.
“You may be able to preach to the party faithful this way, but you won’t reach anyone outside that circle,” he adds. And so far, entertainment targeting the nascent tea party faithful, estimated at around 9 million nationally, has had little success.
The $15 million film, “Atlas Shrugged,” based on the first third of the Ayn Rand novel and intended to launch a trilogy on ticket sales to tea party loyalists who share the novelist’s libertarian beliefs, made roughly a quarter of the budget in sales. Certainly, an emphasis on political views over great moviemaking may have contributed to that film’s failure – it was drubbed by mainstream critics.
“Our ability to choose only what is most compatible to ourselves gives the impression that a mutually compatible society is slipping away from us,” he notes.
But, he also adds, the tea party movement taps into a deeply-shared, cultural value of populist anti-elitism that runs back to the nation’s founding.
“It is not a simple, us-versus-them equation, because there are many smaller grievances that get mixed in from many directions,” he says.
“Every little package defines its own balkanized subculture,” he adds.
“We as individuals rarely have sufficient political power to influence policy; however, as members of the groups that we join and support, we do have power,” he says, adding, “This is a good process for any free, democratic society.”