Mayor Pete is a fairly conventional behind-the-scenes documentary that provides some insight into what makes Pete Buttigieg tick– but not much. The biggest mystery to me is why it is rated R. Yes, his senior communications advisor has the mouth of a sailor, but her F-bombs shouldn’t preclude political junkies (of any age) from learning just a bit more about the first openly gay presidential candidate and his foray into the very deep pool of democrats who sought to unseat Donald Trump in 2020. He didn’t make the final cut (spoiler alert!), but he did succeed in gaining substantial name recognition – even if that name is a challenge to pronounce.
Best to remember it, because the guy is still going places. His loyalty to party was rewarded with a promotion from Mayor of South Bend, Indiana to Transportation Secretary in the Biden Administration – at a time when infrastructure and supply chain are actually part of the national conversation. Plus, he’s only 39 so– as he expresses in the film– time is on his side.
Mayor Pete is directed by filmmaker Jesse Moss (Boys State, The Overnighters), best known for his cinéma vérité style. It’s a style that works best when there is more of a pay-off at the end. Try as he might to get further below the surface of Buttigieg’s personal and political identity, in the end, you get what you get: a simple love story about a cautious, reserved guy who genuinely seems to love his husband Chasten, his country, and a life of public service.
The documentary is available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.