Review: 'Kid Candidate' Details Generation Gap & Inequalities in Local Politics

by Sam Cohen

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday October 26, 2021

A young, naïve and idealistic person enters the world of politics only to find inequity and inequality running rampant; then, they're met with the decision either to advocate for change, or fall in line to get easy votes. Sound a little familiar? That's because the arc of Hayden Pedigo, the subject of Jasmine Stodel's punchy doc "Kid Candidate," while being entirely true, is a familiar tale of local government corruption. While it's far from a direct indictment of the power structures in local government that foster inequity, Hayden's story is one of common distrust in those elected to govern. It even pulls the feat of evoking that crushing feeling of powerlessness that's inherent in advocating for major change.

Gunpowder & Sky brings "Kid Candidate" to Blu-ray with a great 1080p video presentation that offers terrific fidelity across the film's varied use of shooting modes — old-style digital video, new-style digital, and even some filmed sequences. Included with the main feature is a decent collection of special features, included a Q&A from Oak Cliff Film Festival, audio commentary, deleted scenes, and a fun featurette with attorney Jeff Blackburn (friend to Pedigo) commenting on the absurdity of his friend's campaign.

Hayden Pedigo, an erstwhile kid who made some videos poking fun at the pomp and circumstance of his local Texas county's city council election, finds himself running against the system when his quick viral fame turns into a call for action. Hayden ran for city council in 2019, took no donations from anyone, and built a campaign on the idea of progressive change, much to the dismay of the denizens of his county. What originally was a stunt turns into something a lot more genuine, and even heartbreaking, as Hayden learns more and more about the huge wealth gap in his county and the damage it has caused the Black community.

Clocking in at a breezy 69 minutes, "Kid Candidate" is edited very well around the tropes we already know: Viral fame, the decision to act rather than play, and, most importantly, the despair that comes with sizing yourself up against a system not built to respect younger generations.

There's a great deal of footage here that plays to a crowd remarkably well, like the sequences of Hayden and his friends fooling around with dumb ideas and a camera, yet it's all wrapped up in something that feels timely. Not in some leaden, you-ought-to-know way, but with an eye toward making change where we all have the power to; Constantly fighting to create a world in the image of all, not just the privileged. This release comes recommended.

Special features include:

• Audio commentary
• Q&A
• Bonus Footage (Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel)
• Reversible cover
• Exclusive limited slipcover only available at VinegarSyndrome.com


"Kid Candidate" is available on Blu-ray now from Gunpowder & Sky.