De Antonio's Personal Look at his Life and the Life of his Enemy- J.E. Hoover
For the most part, the documentaries of Emile De Antonio tend to be abstract and withdrawn from any sense of personal expression or feeling. Point of Order and In the Year of the Pig may have dialectic meanings that show the radical left wing politics of De Antonio, but the viewer never actually sees the soul of De himself. After a brilliant and subversive career, De died in 1989, but he first completed his final act to the play of his life- Mr. Hoover and I. Mr. Hoover and I is an autobiography, there is no way around that, but it is a different form of autobiography. It is a biography of images and explanations all told behind the backdrop of the life of J.Edgar Hoover and why not. It is Hoover and the establishment that he represents that De fought for so many years against. Although De's life had taken many different shapes- from art patron to radical filmmaker- one thing always haunted him- the spectre of the establishment, an establishment that personified itself through Hoover. Where the attacks of In the Year of the Pig and Point of Order arise from an intellectual sense of montage- the attacks in Hoover are direct. This is De telling us what he believes, not relying on a montage of found army footage. Hoover presents the side of De we never see- the man- the man who loves his wife (wives), has his haircut, likes to poke fun at himself ("anyone who knows me, knows that the only time I empty my wallet is at a bar" on charges that he donated money to Soviet causes), and most of all is a many of passion for what he believes in. Knowing that De passed away only months after finishing Hoover, it almost brings tears to the eyes of harden De fans for it wasn't until he left us that we got to see the real Emile De Antonio.
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