Last Race

  • Director

    John Haley

  • Country, Year, Length

    United States, 2021, 18 minutes 38 seconds

  • Category

    Documentary Short

  • Format


  • Festival Year


Film Screening & Ticket Information

When & Where to See this Film!



In Person Date, Time & Location:

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5TH • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
KAS Zukor • 35th St. • Long Island City, NY 11106


Campaign Lane: Two films about the dynamics of our political landscape.


In the midst of a whirlwind electoral campaign in America’s heartland, a political novice navigates the contours of newfound love.


John Haley, Director

Director Statement

When I first set to work filming “Last Race,” I sought to create a short documentary which, through the eyes of one individual, would touch on the various forces shaping 2020 electoral politics in America. I wanted this project to reflect the election’s focus on the Upper Midwest, the realities of voter disenfranchisement and gerrymandering, the rise of a fierce progressive backlash to the presidency of Donald Trump, and the nature of campaigning in the midst of a global pandemic. Emily Siegrist’s down-ballot race for Wisconsin State Assembly in the 24th District—just north of Milwaukee—ties these various threads together: Emily is a Mexican-American nurse, veteran, and mother of two, running as a progressive in a conservative-leaning, gerrymandered district against the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis.

Yet in the midst of filming Emily’s story, a new thread emerged. Emily, divorced from her ex-husband, found herself discovering a new part of her identity—falling in love with a woman who supported her campaign. As I continued to film, I found the focus shifting from the political to the personal. As a gay man, I connected to this delicate process of discovering one’s identity—the challenges, certainly, but also the beautiful moments of affirmation and truth that come through that process as well.

“Last Race,” filmed as an observational piece, ultimately captures snippets of this process and stitches them together into portrait of a woman truly knowing herself while seeking to bring her district the representation it deserves, all against the unique confluence of obstacles that 2020 presents. As Emily throws herself into the limelight of a competitive political campaign, a newfound love hovers beneath the surface, waiting to offer a path forward.

Director Biography

John Haley is a documentary filmmaker based in the Midwestern United States whose stories center on the intersection of personal identity or particular place and broader societal structures. Guided by an overarching minimalist, no-frills approach to filmmaking, John aims to emphasize the reality of characters’ experiences through handheld cinematography and carefully structured landscapes, situating the characters, places, and ideas of his films within a broader social, political, and historical context.

Thematically, John’s films grapple with contentious issues such as the death penalty and electoral politics through the lens of specific characters, locations, or events; John seeks to contextualize these forms of structural violence through distinct perspectives in pursuit of nuance and a more truthful, holistic understanding of reality. John attempts to reveal truth carefully and gently, slowly expanding upon stories at the individual level until they are realized fully within the scope of their larger societal implications.