« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Heidi Shaffer, Published June 16 2010

Bill Guy documentary premieres

Former North Dakota Gov. Bill Guy can still pack a theater almost 40 years after he last served in public office.

Nearly all of the Fargo Theatre’s 850 seats were filled for Tuesday’s premiere of the new documentary “The Charisma of Competence: The Achievement of William L. Guy.”

Filmmaker Clay Jenkinson said he was nervous going into the screening because of all of the material he wished he could have included had it not been limited to an hourlong documentary.

He also said he wasn’t sure how Guy and his family would receive the portrayal of some of the darker spots in Guy’s political career.

“The work has to be accurate historically in order for it to be appreciated,” Jenkinson said of the film, a follow-up to the documentary he made about former Gov. Art Link.

But the true judgment of the accuracy and quality of the film came from the 90-year-old Guy, who said there was nothing he would have changed about the way it was made.

Guy and his wife, Jean, were interviewed more than 30 times for the film, which covers the Democrat’s early life in Amenia, N.D., and the changes he ushered into the state in his 12 years at the helm. It also covers a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 1974.

“I thought it was excellent,” Jean Guy said.

Guy’s influence on other politicians in the state was also evident in those who attended Tuesday’s screening.

Former Govs. Ed Schafer and George Sinner were there, as was Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker. Sen. Byron Dorgan sent a video message to Guy from Washington.

“I am so proud of the work Bill Guy has done for the country over so many years. … Our state and our country owe you big debt of gratitude,” Dorgan said in his message.


What: Television premiere of “The Charisma of Competence: The Achievement of William L. Guy”

When: 8 p.m. June 24

Where: Prairie Public Broadcasting, Channel 13 in Fargo-Moorhead

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5511