Women Studies • American Politics • Film Studies • Health Care • Elections • Journalsim • Media Studies
Director Grace Lee 78 minutes, 2012


Janeane from Des Moines defies classification. Is it a documentary with fictional elements? Or a socially conscious drama? Director Grace Lee creates a thought-provoking political (non?) fiction tale of an ‘ordinary’ American who offers us an insider’s look at the American heartland’s ultra right-wing movement. Janeane Wilson is a conservative Iowa housewife who works as a home health aide, keeps busy in her garden, and attends a local women’s bible study group. But as the 2012 presidential election draws near, she is determined to find a Republican candidate who will take America back from the Democrats, repeal Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood and get rid of gay marriage issues that she feels are destroying the country she loves. She dives into Iowa Tea Party politics and the lead-up to the Iowa caucus, but a crumbling economy causes her to lose everything she holds dear. Janeane loses her job, her marriage, her health, and her home. As Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich crisscross Iowa during her hour of need, Janeane presses them for answers that she and many of her fellow Americans would like to hear. Starring Jane Edith Wilson, this is a cautionary tale about a true believer whose faith is severely tested.

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Janeane From Des Moines

Educational Media Reviews On-line

Reviewed by Anne Shelley, Music/Multimedia Librarian, Milner Library, Illinois State University

"Janeane wasn’t real, but she sure could have been, and I bet that’s the message that many viewers will get out of this film. Recommended for academic library collections that support courses in film studies and politics and government."

The New York Times

Reviwed by John Anderson

"With Ms. Wilson’s rare talent for staying in character as the media circus swirls around her, Janeane From Des Moines is actually a commentary on the immense gap between a desperate citizen and the politics she had hoped might help her."


Reviewed by Dennis Harvey

"Janeane from Des Moines admirably refuses to go the predictable route of "punking" the candidates for easy satire or cheap laughs. Instead, it provocatively features a fictive, downwardly mobile citizen trying to get hard answers from real-life candidates regarding what they'll do."

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