In 2012, Roseanne Barr ran for president of the United States. Although she enjoyed calling herself “the only serious comedian in the race,” the campaign was not a joke. Now we have the opportunity to take it all in. Roseanne for President! is the hilarious, remarkable, moving, and illuminating film that documents how one of the most influential and controversial comedians of all time boldly and passionately extends her legacy as an advocate and symbol for everyday Americans. While peering behind the curtain to see the unusual and highly entertaining world of “other” party politics, Roseanne for President! is also a revealing look at Roseanne’s life and career, and how this bold, brash, Jewish grandmother from Utah made herself into a working class hero.
Her family and friends all attest that Roseanne’s run for president is very real. Now living in Hawaii with her longtime boyfriend, Roseanne has restricted most of her public appearances over the last few years to the political and social causes that move her: justice and opportunity for the working class, tax fairness, women’s rights, ending the war, and the legalization of marijuana. Roseanne’s passion and her skill with a crowd prompted former Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney to recruit Roseanne to consider running on the Green Party ticket in 2012. Roseanne seizes the opportunity to continue what she sees as her lifelong mission – to represent the interests of people like her, hard-working, compassionate, and independent.
As Roseanne files her paperwork and undertakes her unconventional nationwide campaign – her spirited campaign manager is a young woman from Minnesota named Farheen – the film also reflects on Roseanne’s life and career, from a childhood where she was first motivated by politics and social justice, to her skyrocketing to fame as stand-up comedy’s “domestic goddess” and her groundbreaking television show. The goal for Roseanne is never to “win,” exactly, but to find a way to speak her truth and encourage others to do the same: the message behind Roseanne’s work is always that ordinary people should not only be heard, but empowered. Roseanne for President! is the next chapter in Roseanne’s very public life: as imperfect as she reveals herself to be, she continues to empower herself and make herself a force on behalf of others. And she does so in a way that is, of course, hilarious, outrageous, and completely unique.
Roseanne for President! will open on Friday, July 1st in New York as well as become available on VOD/Digital platforms. The film was directed by Eric Weinrib and also stars Farheen Hakeem, Michael Moore, Rosie O’Donnell, Sandra Bernhard, Tom Smothers.