AUSTIN, Texas — Those wanting to learn more about Beto O’Rourke were able to see what he's like up close at a screening of the new HBO documentary film 'Running with Beto,' which is showing at SXSW 2019.
After watching the film, which details his last campaign, it seems now there’s even more excitement among his supporters about his run for president.
The former Texas congressman made the announcement on Thursday.
“Very excited, very excited, a lot of energy moving up to this moment,” Julie Reichert, an O'Rourke supporter, said. “I knew that he was going to be announcing today, and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get geared up for the next fight."
The documentary gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at O’Rourke’s last campaign as he ran for Senate, including the campaign stops, the debates and even the emotional toll it took on him and his family.
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O’Rourke sought to unseat Ted Cruz in the 2018 November election and ultimately lost. But what stuck was the hope he inspired in millions of Americans. Many see him as an authentic and charismatic candidate.
Supporters believe that will carry over into his run for president.
“Seeing how much people loved him and seeing him up close in the film with his family with his wife with his friends with his sister, I think maybe he has a chance,” Rochelle Brackman said. “He really stirred up a lot in Texas.”
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“It’s exciting, you know, the whole campaign was exciting because the mood that he set and, you know, the message that he sent and the fact that he can send that message to a wider audience,” Kevin Carpenter said.
David Modigliani directed the film and traveled about 47,000 miles over 12 months to follow O'Rourke. He learned a lot about him during the process.
“I think Beto manages to have a really carefree joy – just blasting the Ramones in the van and scarfing down tacos – but also a real urgency about the crisis and democracy in this country,” Modigliani said.
O’Rourke may not have won in 2018, but his supporters believe 2020 will be different.
“Today, I think may have a chance,” Brackman said.
Right now, SXSW is the only place you can catch 'Running with Beto.' The next screening is on Saturday.
Those who missed the screening will have to wait until it premieres on HBO on May 28.