“Funny and insightful” – Variety
“An intricate and compelling documentary that deftly weaves together multiple narrative layers—the American Dream, surrealism, fatherhood, race relations, celebrity” – VICE
“9 out of 10…An achievement in tone, finding the perfect balance between thought-provoking and entertaining film.” – The Arts Guild
“4 out of 5…Hollywood itself couldn’t have crafted a more perfectly sad story and equally deserved triumph.” – We Got This Covered
When Louis Ortiz shaved off his goatee one day in 2008, his life changed forever. He looked in the mirror and he didn’t see himself – a middle-aged, unemployed Puerto Rican father from the Bronx. He saw the face of change, of hope… of money. BRONX OBAMA tells the strange and improbable tale of a Barack Obama impersonator who tries to cash in on the “look of a lifetime” and chases a fevered American dream from opportunity to oblivion.
Filmmaker Ryan Murdock’s debut feature film has been in the making for nearly 3 years, as he intimately documented Mr. Ortiz’s transformation during Obama’s first term and the 2012 election season. Murdock has rolled out this story in multiple parts – first as a 36-minute radio piece for NPR’s This American Life, then as a short film for The New York Times. The 90-minute feature documentary reveals a host of new characters; a manager who pushes Louis hard to “become Obama,” a seasoned “Bill Clinton” who dispenses advice, and a hard-working “Mitt Romney” who bets it all on his newfound career. Murdock captures unexpectedly hilarious moments along this Twilight-Zone-esque campaign trail while delving deep into the question of what it means to be someone you’re not.