‘Mayor Pete’ is a documentary about Pete Buttgieg’s 2020 presidential campaign. But it is also about so much more. You can watch it on Amazon starting today.
When Pete started his presidential campaign in the middle of April last year, his expectations and everyone’s around him were quite low. However, his campaign quickly took off after his unpretentious presence in television debates. Suddenly, he was one of the leaders in the race. He didn’t stand a chance though and we all know how it ended.
Chastin Buttgieg, Pete’s spouse, played the supportive role that every spouse in politics plays. Looking at their relationship, it’s hard not to want to have it. The support that Chastin offers to his husband is exemplary but also very sincere and touching. He is also involved in helping LGBTQ+ community and giving the young people hope by example. In the movie they are both talking about having children. And in the beginning of September of this year they became parents of twins. So in a way they had their own happy ending.
But this film is not about homosexuality or politics. It’s actually about something else – about becoming the true self. As Pete says in one scene: ‘When I talked about coming out that was for everybody who’s tried to figure out how to be who they are’. We all need to figure that out at some point. It’s called growing up. After the years of adolescence and teenagehood when we experiment to understand who we truly are, comes the time of maturity, when we have to put it into practice. And in this film Pete do just that – he rises to the occasion.
It’s not always easy and he doesn’t always know what to do. But at least he is trying to understand other people’s point of view. He listens and gives them space. He says that sometimes it’s all that he can do. We can see that sometimes a nervous smile appears on his face. I think it happens when he doesn’t really know how to react. It doesn’t mean that he finds the situation funny. It just shows that he is still a human being.
Even though he seems very genuine in his need to help others, the problem with the system is, that he wouldn’t be able to change much. Even if he did become the president, he wouldn’t have as much power as some people may imagine. Also, power changes people. And Pete seems to be aware of that. He says in the film: ‘The challenge of course is how you master the game without it changing you’. Now, that he is the Secretary of Transportation and moved to Washington, DC he will have a chance to see if he can still stay himself, in spite of all.
I like watching documentaries more and more because life always writes the best scenarios that no scriptwriter could ever invent.