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American Dharma (2018)

A portrait of controversial political strategist and former Donald Trump advisor, Stephen K. Bannon.


Errol Morris
2 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Stephen K. Bannon ... Himself


A portrait of controversial political strategist and former Donald Trump advisor, Stephen K. Bannon.

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Release Date:

30 September 2018 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


The film premiered at TIFF (Toronto international Film Festival) in Canada in September of 2018. See more »


Features Chimes at Midnight (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

Enlightening, at least for me, documentary about the Trump era, how it grew and how it will go on for a foreseeable future
19 November 2018 | by JvH48See all my reviews

Saw this at IDFA 2018, the documentary festival in Amsterdam. Difficult film to watch and sit through, not for being a bad documentary but because some of the things said and shown on screen that nearly make me throw sharp kitchen tools towards the speaker. It displays a clear vision of what the current politically correct elite does wrong in the eyes of the "common" man, failing to solve any of the issues we have nowadays, merely make toothless compromises and never take a real stand against things that "everyone" sees going in the wrong direction. There is an urgent need for change, as Bannon repeatedly states. And getting Trump elected is a blunt instrument (his words) to get things changed. Any of the other Republican candidates would only prolong the status quo, so Trump was in fact the only way out.

My problem, on the other hand, is whether this new approach will work out very differently. It reverses things arranged in the past, just for the sake of doing it differently, without a clear vision about a new future. But I'm not really politically interested, so I'm wrong on all counts while having no clear position either, nor a better alternative, nor any urgency to change things.

I can appreciate that Bannon wanted to have this film made, thereby getting a platform to explain things that did not work out the way he probably wanted. If he did make an attempt to make his role bigger than it actually was, he did it subtly enough and I was not aware of it (if he did). At least he flatly denied having written Trumps acceptance speech, that was not so well received in other countries. Given that it was sheer luck to win the presidential election on a narrow margin, he cannot (and did not) say that the strategy was so brilliant that they impossibly could have lost.

All in all, if you are a bit masochistic and can stand the things brought to you via news fragments and other existing footage, this movie illustrates the "Trump era" very well, how it grew and how it will continue to exist for the foreseeable future. The movie fragments that are supposed to enlighten us about Barron's strategy, did not all work for me, albeit most were a very good attempt, like several clips from Twelve O'clock High (1949). Also, the pivotal scene with Henry V and Fallstaff, in Chimes at Midnight (1965), could explain Bannon being sent away by Trump as inevitable.

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