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30 Jun 2011 11:02
Filmmaker Stephen K Bannon’s hagiographical portrayal of Sarah Palin opens with several minutes of footage in which various well-known figures in film and US television offer scathing, often expletive-ridden verdicts on the former Alaska governor and darling of the American right, who is said to be weighing up a tilt at the US presidency next year. Their angry comments are interspersed with news footage of an effigy of Palin being hanged.
Among those to be represented are Matt Damon (who likens Palin to “a really bad Disney movie”), Madonna, comic Bill Maher and talk-show hosts David Letterman and Howard Stern.
Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter following the screening at a historic opera house in the small town of Pella, Iowa, Palin said it was the first time she had seen the footage.
‘By their fruits ye shall know them’
Letterman describes Palin as “slutty” in the footage, while Maher calls her a “dumb twat” on his TV show. Madonna screams “Sarah fucking Palin” while performing at a concert and various other entertainers variously label her a “slut”, “bitch” or use the term “hate” to describe their feelings about her. As the footage ends, a verse from the Bible appears on the screen: “By their fruits ye shall know them.”
Palin herself is not interviewed as part of The Undefeated, though she did help Bannon, a former naval officer and banker, with access to some of those who were, and her voice is used to narrate several scenes. Another documentary with a rather different take on the politician’s rise from “soccer mom” to 2008 US vice-presidential candidate has been shot by Nick Broomfield, the British documentarian behind films such as Kurt & Courtney and Biggie & Tupac. Currently seeking distribution, it features interviews with Palin’s parents, friends and former Alaska colleagues, few of whom reportedly have particularly kind things to say about her.
The Undefeated is currently scheduled to open in fewer than a dozen US cinemas next month. Despite the frenzied media circus accompanying its premiere at the heart of the state which will host the US’s first presidential primary next year, Palin has still not announced her candidacy. - guardian.co.uk
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