Director: Marlo Poras
In Robert Zemeckis’s Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks sets off on a quest to run for no apparent reason. Doris “Granny D” Haddock has a reason and at the age of 89 she decided to lace up her shoes and make an incredible journey—although she’s not running, she walks the path from California to New Hampshire. Her reason is simple: to call attention to the issue and need for campaign reform and her passion for the country and in bringing awareness to the 50% of people who do not vote helped propel her for 3,200 miles. Five years later, she was overtaken by another spontaneous impulse inspired by her life’s passion of a truly democratic government to submit her name after the twenty-four hour vacant spot left in the New Hampshire senatorial race after the Democratic candidate bowed out following a monetary and staff scandal. Taking on the two time Republican incumbent senator and former governor Judd Gregg (a friend of President George W. Bush), Granny D.’s plight is given another boost by the involvement of strategists and managers from Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich’s campaigns. While her age prevents most from taking her more seriously than just a folksy casual interest and there’s questionable support from the Democratic party and she feels immense guilt in devoting more time to politics than to her daughter with Alzheimer’s, Granny D. draws on the strengths her son lists as “perseverance” and a remarkably high threshold for pain in her grassroots strategy utilizing homemade signs and individual donations (no PAC or Special Interest money) to walk around the entire state to get out the word. Marlo Poras’ film which as feisty as Granny D. herself premiered in March of 2007 at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas and is now available on DVD.