To the 4th PowerTO THE FOURTH POWER (2013) – This film may be the sleeper hit of the year. You’d think it would be impossible to do something creative with the mock documentary format at this point but To The Fourth Power proves to be a thought-provoking and inventive piece set “just a few years from now”.

The movie depicts a near future in which the American people have taken back the 4th of July and have transformed it into more than just a celebration of the nation’s birth: into an expression of the rapidly rising public resentment at the way elected officials represent the wishes of their political party and not the wishes of the people who elect them.

Two children of privilege who represent everything worth despising about Liberals and Conservatives.

Two children of privilege who represent everything worth despising about Liberals and Conservatives.

Director Eddie Wozniak’s mockumentary’s timeline shows that this transformation began with enterprising fireworks salesmen making a fortune off fireworks shaped like the Democratic Party jackass and the Republican Party elephant. The chance to watch those two symbols of the increasingly hated parties burning up and/or being exploded to bits was too good for consumers to resist and made the salesmen a quick fortune. 

Over the next few July 4th’s (the movie intentionally stays vague about how many) this meme went viral, and the anniversary of America’s rebellion against Great Britain also became a rowdy and raucous rebellion of sorts against the two political parties who had hijacked the nation’s political system, freezing out any real chance of third parties threatening their shared monopoly.

Things like Obamacare, the Iraq War, drone killings, technical surveillance and other unpopular policies pursued by presidents from both parties showed that Democrats and Republicans felt well-insulated from the opinions of the people they governed. Barack Obama’s ill-concealed hatred for the citizenry was another factor feeding the flames of general hostility toward an uncaring and unresponsive federal government.

Eventually vicarious enactments of hostility to the political classes took even sharper form, with pictures of elected officials from both parties being set fire to in bonfires or used as target practice in gun and rifle competitions across the country every Independence Day. 

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

Scenes of jubilant partiers cheering as pictures and statues of the likes of George W Bush, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton are shot, burned or blown up are very powerful and pack a visceral punch. No doubt such disrepect toward King George III seemed as dangerous back in 1776.

News outlets that were basically just house organs of the Democrats and Republicans at first ignored or downplayed the increasingly edgy “Extreme July 4th” celebrations. As the intensity of the celebrations increased the Secret Service began moving in to pre-empt public celebrations that involved burning or shooting the images of incumbent presidents.

The government stepped up efforts to legislate what could and could not be done to celebrate Independence Day and the federal enforcement arms began making arrests each year when the holiday rolled around. Clashes between authorities and revelers became inevitable and To The Fourth Power takes the viewer down some very unexpected and sobering paths as it examines the consequences of those clashes.

“Death to the Democratic and Republican Parties” is a fairly simple-minded paraphrasing of the movie’s message employed by detractors. Reviewers who are still mired in the useless and outdated “liberal vs conservative” paradigm try to dismiss this film by painting it as a naive endorsement of third parties. Some even try to read more sinister motives into the movie, a testament to its powerful impact.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

At its core, however, To The Fourth Power raises perfectly legitimate questions about the unconstitutional monopoly that the Democratic and Republican parties exercise over the American electoral system. The film’s depiction of the two parties as “rival gangs of white-collar criminals” may sound a bit strong until the actual – often criminal – conduct of Democratic and Republican office-holders is considered.

The two-party stranglehold on the electoral system also negates the built-in checks and balances provided for in the Constitution. Instead of having three co-equal branches of government concerned with keeping a wary eye on each other we have the ugly situation in which any sitting president has huge numbers of his party’s lackies in the House and Senate as well as some sitting on the Supreme Court. The two political parties have their tentacles in all three branches of government. This ugly situation means that NO U.S. president will likely ever be both impeached AND convicted, given how votes for conviction or acquittal would likely go along party lines.

Mascot with demo and repub headsYou have to admire the clever way in which To The Fourth Power avoids any mention of outrightly rebelling against the actual federal government, but instead depicts the increasingly unresponsive Democratic and Republican parties as a “ball and chain” limiting the freedom of all Americans. All the rebellious activity presented in the movie is targeted at those two parties (“the Royal Houses” as the film sarcastically calls them) and their repulsive elected figures.  

This is not a real film, of course. But you have to wonder why it’s not.


© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.         



Filed under Fantastic Movie Reviews, LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES

133 responses to “MOVIE REVIEW: TO THE FOURTH POWER (2013)

  1. Balladeer ur site is the only 1 I go 2 4 cultural commentary on life in the States. u don’t follow anybody’s lead but ur own.

  2. LOVE IT! Forget making the movie we should start celebrating the 4th of July like this in real life!

  3. Terrific and I agree this should be a real movie!

  4. This is even more dangerous than ur previous movie review called The Burqa.

  5. Woman

    I went looking for this one online to download… I couldn’t find it!!! Do you have a torrent file for it???? It really does sound like an intriguing flick!!

  6. Rachel Laird

    Recently a lot of independent movies and movie ideas are being funded via “Kickstarters” I think a good amount of your ideas could get picked up by one on an indie basis. People love this kind of stuff and it’s well written. Though if you become a famous director I think you need to act like Hunter S.Thompson and Tarantino had a love child in all interviews.

    • LOL Thank you very much, Cyclone Rachel!

      That is a perfect idea! That is EXACTLY how I’ll behave. I’ll drop some Mr Natural while giving a woman a foot rub. There! Both guys covered!

  7. Odell Santos

    Notwithstanding the party’s antielitist foundations, the first three Democratic-Republican presidents—Jefferson (1801–09), James Madison (1809–17), and James Monroe (1817–25)—were all wealthy, aristocratic Southern planters, though all three shared the same liberal political philosophy. Jefferson narrowly defeated the Federalist John Adams in the election of 1800; his victory demonstrated that power could be transferred peacefully between parties under the Constitution. Once in office, the Democratic-Republicans attempted to scale back Federalist programs but actually overturned few of the institutions they had criticized (e.g., the Bank of the United States was retained until its charter expired in 1811). Nevertheless, Jefferson made a genuine effort to make his administration appear more democratic and egalitarian: he walked to the Capitol for his inauguration rather than ride in a coach-and-six, and he sent his annual message to Congress by messenger, rather than reading it personally. Federal excises were repealed, the national debt was retired, and the size of the armed forces was greatly reduced. However, the demands of foreign relations (such as the Louisiana Purchase in 1803) often forced Jefferson and his successors into a nationalistic stance reminiscent of the Federalists.

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  10. Very corageous and edgy!

  11. The Democrats and Republicans are begging for a revolution from the rest of us.

  12. Boy do we need this movie and the type of 4th of July celebrations you call for!

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  14. Consent of the goverened needs to mean something again! You go!

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  20. We need to start celebrating like this.

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  42. I’m in sales and I think u could market this movie easily because of how much people now hate the democrats and republicans.

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  51. I agree that death to the dmocratic and republican parties is too simplistic a way of synopsizing this.

  52. Bring the two party system down! We need more political parties!

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  55. America is becoming a police state.

  56. I really enjoyed this but I’m didsappointed it’s not a real movie!

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  60. Ivy

    I like this! I like how you tackle both parties.

  61. Denice

    Very interesting! Your fake films go where real films are too terrified to go now.

  62. Thomas

    You Americans are headed for a civil war.

  63. Jay

    Crimson Imam needs to be made!

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  65. bitwise

    This was a captivating look at what is wrong with both democrats and republicans.

  66. Perfect look at the hypocrisy of both sides.

  67. Alease


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