537 Votes HBO Max Documentary Review

An interesting insight on the Florida recount of the 2000 US Presidential Election

Aparnna Hajirnis -

537 Votes HBO Max Documentary Review
Movie Rated

It is not surprising given how so many documentaries surrounding American politics and elections are being released just 2 weeks prior to the 2020 US Elections.

What is the story about?

HBOMax's 537 Votes is named for the number of votes that ensured that George W. Bush won the 2000 US Presidential Elections, beating Democrat candidate, Al Gore. The documentary features how Elian Gonzalez helped trigger the Election results in Florida, where George W. Bush led by just 537 votes, thereby the electoral process going for a recount.


Right now the entire world has its eyes on the 2020 US elections, so we get the sentiment behind presenting us a documentary that showcases how the Democratic electoral process has a flipside. 537 votes takes us back to 2000 when most of us would have been in school. We are reminded of the election when liberal favourite Al Gore lost the election to George W. Bush and who changed the course of politics for the entire world.  Director Billy Corben cleverly unfolds the documentary with cultural and musical artefacts of the era, with snippets featuring from "Saturday Night Live," "The Daily Show" and "South Park" to put forth his views. The documentary is thus a slick entertaining watch. The documentary also focuses on interviews with political experts such as  Roger Stone, Joe Geller and Al Cardendas.

We are also presented with the story of Elian Gonzalez who was found in an inner tube floating at sea three miles from Florida's Fort Lauderdale coast. His mother had drowned while trying to escape Cuba with her boyfriend. His father remained in Cuba. Thus ensued a custody and citizenship battle, that triggered the political outcome of the Al Gore vs George W Bush political battle.


The Billy Corben-directed documentary acts as a prelude to the forthcoming 2020 US Presidential elections and offers a warning about political dynamics and the unprecedented times. 


It would have been interesting had it been a docu-series and we could have seen more of the political coverage of the US Presidential elections.

Did I enjoy it?

For someone who enjoys political documentaries, this one is a gem. George W. Bush and Al Gore may no longer be relevant, but their brand of politics certainly is. 

Do I recommend it?

Watch it. 537 Votes serves as a trailer to the big political battle that will happen 2 weeks from now. It is a thoroughly entertaining and a very informative documentary. 


Report a problem


Subscribe to our feeds