Beto O’Rourke hits the road in the upcoming HBO documentary “Running With Beto,” which released a trailer on Thursday night.
The movie traces the relatively unknown congressman’s grassroots 2018 Senate race in which he sought to become the first Texas Democrat to win a statewide election in almost 25 years.
Director David Modigliani embedded his crew with the O’Rourke campaign for a year as the El Paso congressman staged a bold attempt to unseat Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. The doc recounts the best-funded grassroots campaign in U.S. Senate history, as O’Rourke visited all 254 of the state’s counties in two years, used social media in unconventional ways and refused to accept PAC money or corporate contributions.
“We were watching the returns for president, trying to figure out what’s going on,” O’Rourke says in the trailer, which Entertainment Weekly exclusively debuted. “Somebody just won an election by defining us as being scared and small and afraid. So we just — what are we going to do? And out of that conversation came this idea: What if we ran for Senate?”
The doc also looks at the personal and political toll that running took on O’Rourke and his family, including notable campaign moments with his wife and three young children.
“Running With Beto” will make its world premiere on Saturday at the SXSW Film Festival. It debuts on HBO on May 28.