15 years after his classic documentary "The Leader, His Driver, and the Driver's Wife", Nick Broomfield examines the history of the far-right AWB and its leader Eugene Terre'Blanche and ... See full summary »
F.W. de Klerk,
Nick Broomfield met Hsiao Hung Pai, a journalist who was working for the Guardian, when making his feature film 'Ghosts' (about the Morecambe Bay Chinese Cockle Pickers ). As an experiment ... See full summary »
An investigation of the massacre of 24 men, women and children in Haditha, Iraq allegedly shot by 4 U.S. Marines in retaliation for the death of a U.S. Marine killed by a roadside bomb. The movie follows the story of the Marines of Kilo Company, an Iraqi family, and the insurgents who plant the roadside bomb.
Two iconic British buildings are threatened with demolition and the intrepid Nick Broomfield is on the case. In this pair of documentaries Broomfield profiles the Wellington Rooms in Liverpool and the Coal Exchange in Cardiff.
At the film's world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival, director Nick Broomfield had to dodge banana skins laid in his path by Palin's online cheerleaders. See more »
[at an "An Evening with Sarah Palin" event]
[calling out from the audience]
Do you think your political career is over?
[a pause as Sarah Palin takes a sip from her water bottle]
[points around at the audience]
Ask these people.
[the audience cheers and applauds]
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Fair, balanced, neutral – and if the subject doesn't appear in a "positive light", don't blame the director but thank the subject
Sure, didn't we all have a good laugh at Sarah Palins expense? Admit it: like me you were waiting gleefully for a new interview during the 2008 elections, waiting for Mrs. Palin to blur out another avalanche of nonsense, hog-wash and absurd gibberish while standing in the limelight. Somehow half-convinced that we were watching an episode of Candid Camera or that somebody had elected the village-idiot to run as vice-president of the United States. At the same time trying to ignore the fact, as one commentator put it, "that (had McCain won), this woman would be a 72-year old man's heartbeat away from being president" – somebody who couldn't find major hotspots like Iraq on a map, but was convinced that she could see Russia from her porch.
I've always been a fan of Broomfield's Gung-Ho-style journalism. Or rather let's say, I've always enjoyed his style without necessarily coming to the same conclusions (no, I don't think that Kurt Cobain was murdered by his wife, as Broomfield has suggested in his "Kurt & Courtney").
The "appeal" (if I may use the word in this context) of Sarah Palin is that she is one of the members of this profession that allows a good insight into her mind. Politicians have long since learned numerous tactics and skills regarding body-language, gesture and syntax to be able to "shield" them off from prying minds. At times this can backfire (to mind comes Bill Clinton, who gave his Spiel away when pointing and nodding in the wrong direction while proclaiming "I did not have sex with this woman!"). Another fine example would be his wife Hilary: comparing her body-language when she was "just" First Lady to nowadays, where she has obviously gone through rigorous training, is like comparing night and day. Save to say, Sarah Palin possesses no such skill.
Broomfield doesn't have to dig through the dirt much. Mainly, he only needs to sit back and let Sarah's (former) friends, allies and acquaintances do the talking. The dirt would appear virtually out of nowhere, as if just waiting to hit Broomfield's camera. We get what we would expect and probably knew from the very beginning: it's a picture of a complete incompetent, bungling yet ruthless and ambitious politician, who entered the presidential race with the same hope of somebody purchasing a lottery ticket at the petrol-station. In short: it would have been child's play to mock or ridicule the documentary's subject, but – being the gentleman that he is – Broomfield opted not to go down that path, so his film never seems like a hatchet job (in contrast, let's recall Michael Moore tearing into a certain actor, of whom he knew that he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and hence was easy prey; the contrast couldn't be starker). "Don't demean yourself and ridicule fools – they'll do that all by themselves", like the saying goes. Interesting, entertaining and distinctly neutral (at least from Broomfield's side, who opted to heed that saying mentioned above). 7/10
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