Serving seven consecutive terms, Anthony Weiner, good friends with and political allies to the Clintons, was once a highly respected member of Congress from New York City, he seen as a man sticking up for the every day person. That all changed in June, 2011 when he was forced to resign in disgrace after admitting that he did tweet lewd "headless" photos of himself from his public Twitter account to women he met online, and that it was not the work of a hacker or that the photos were of someone else. At the time, his wife Huma Abedin, herself a key aide to Hillary Clinton, was pregnant with their first child, she who decided to stand by her man. Two years later with Abedin still by his side, Weiner tries to resurrect his political career in a run for New York City mayor. He realizes that he has an uphill battle not only because of the known previously tweeted photos, but that there are other lewd photos from that era that may also come to light during the campaign. Regardless of the ...Written by
Anthony Weiner was a young congressman on the cusp of higher office when a sexting scandal forced a humiliating resignation. Just two years later, he ran for Mayor of New York City, betting that his ideas would trump his indiscretions. He was wrong.
Theme from S.W.A.T
Written by Barry De Vorzon
Published by EMI Gold Horizon Music Corp.
Performed by Rhythm Heritage
Courtesy of Geffen Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
"Weiner" (2016 release; 96 min.) is a documentary about disgraced new York politician Anthony Weiner (pronounced: "wiener", not "whiner"). As the movie opens, we have Weiner in an interview chair, talking to the documentary makers. We then go back to 2011, when we get a thumbnail overview of how a sexting scandal led to his resignation from US Congress. We then shift to "May 13, 2013, two years after his resignation". Weiner is about to enter the race for New York Mayor, and along the way decided to give unlimited access to these documentary makers during his campaign. By then you are already nailed to your seat as you watch what is unfolding.
Couple of comments: this is the first full-length documentary for co-writer and directors Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg. While the comeback attempt in and of itself would've made for riveting viewing, can you imagine how they felt when smack in the middle of the unfolding campaign, another controversy explodes? It doesn't get any better than this for documentaries (on the same level as "The Armstrong Lie" about Lance Armstrong and "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" about Wilco). There are so many fine moments in this documentary, and I certainly don't want to spoil your viewing experience, but allow me to just point out two scenes: there is a very clever montage of Weiner's campaign taking a foothold and gaining track (to the point of leading the polls), set to the "Theme of S.W.A.T.", and it works beautifully. Even better is the scene between Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin when the second controversy explodes. Ah yes, the wife. Normal people like you and me immediately think: why on earth does she decide to stick by her man, time and again, humiliation upon humiliation? Then it dawns on me: these are not 'normal' people like you and me. Huma stays with Weiner the same reason Hillary stayed with Bill: it's all about the power! These career politicians know one thing, and one thing only: get the power, and stay in power, whatever means necessary, whatever personal sacrifice is needed along the way. When the final curtain comes down (Weiner obviously did not win the mayoral election), one of the directors asks Weiner "why did you let me film all this?". You'll just have to see for yourself how Weiner responds to this... Bottom line: if you like documentaries, you will absolutely love this riveting look at a disgraced politician whose narcissistic personality disorder is fully exposed here.
"Weiner" made a splash when it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and I couldn't wait to see it. It finally opened this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Saturday matinée screening where I saw this at was attended poorly, to my surprise. Maybe strong word-of-mouth (which this movie surely generates) will lead to wider exposure down the road through VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray. Meanwhile, "Weiner" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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