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How Democracy Works Now: Watch “The Senators’ Bargain” Tonight on HBO2

by Mahwish Khan on 03/24/2010 at 3:27pm

Tonight at 8 PM ET, How Democracy Works will be premiering a key piece of its 12-part series on HBO2. The film, which documents the course immigration reform has taken over the past 8 or so years is described vividly by the filmmakers:

…that’s what we believe this series turned out to be: twelve discrete films about several dozen fascinating people in all kinds of places, each connected by a commitment to change the way that the United States handles the bedrock national identity issue of immigration.  Together, the twelve films make up one very big story, and though we surely didn’t realize it at that point, it’s exactly the story we would have wanted to find in 2001. 

Tonight’s installment, “The Senator’s Bargain,” focuses on Senator Ted Kennedy’s tireless fight for immigration reform. The film is aptly titled in light of the “grand bargain” Kennedy struck with Senator John Kyl (R-AZ) on the issue. Marcelo Ballvé of New America Media writes:

The documentary is a kind of case study in immigration politics. Through it, Camerini and Robertson manage to break open the black box surrounding the back-story to major legislation.

What’s inside the box is an arcane world of closed-door meetings, book-length legislative blueprints, and bare-knuckled and profanity-strewn negotiations carried out to a large degree via phone and Blackberry.

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