After too long an interval, I've at last managed to return to seeing a film outside the mainstream releases.
The story of Anthony Weiner's 2013 campaign to become Democrat mayor of New York had been retained only on the edge of my awareness, and that because of what he became notorious for - texting selfies of his intimate parts with 'lewd' texts to women he'd never met. I didn't even recall his name, though with such a name as the one he possessed I ought to have remembered.
This film is a fly-on-the-wall account of his campaign, without commentary - only comments from himself as his attempts to retain respectability descend into near farce as his lies and evasions became public - and by instalments, thanks to the 'judicious' timing of the women involved - plus, of course, gleeful remarks from political commentators from across the political spectrum.
At the end of the film, Weiner is asked why he'd allowed the cameras to follow him around and his reply is that he thought it would give a more rounded picture of the man he was rather than the media's obsession with just the one aspect of his personal life. Unfortunately for him, the film has been edited to show, almost exclusively, reactions to the very subject he didn't want covered. All the while his wife Huma (an assistant to Hillary Clinton) is very present, sometimes attending press conferences with him, trying to put a brave face on it and smiling through gritted teeth. I must say her 'stand by your man' stance is exemplary for those who think that that is exactly what she ought to have done.
There's hardly any discussion at all of his policies.
Within a very short while his ratings dropped from being strong favourite to win the mayoral election to, on the day, actually coming in last place of the half-dozen candidates, with less than 5% of the vote. An ignominious result, indeed.
The film didn't strike me as being particularly judgmental. though one could argue that its construction was hardly designed to be sympathetic, portraying a political figure who had no one but himself to blame for his fate.
Knowing next to nothing about the man I also am unable to make a judgment other than to say that because I feel instinctively more favourably inclined towards politicians of a liberal/socialist disposition, he did strike me as a tragic figure who shouldn't have been solely judged on his particular (and unfortunate) peccadilloes. However, if this had happened to a hard-right politician in any country at all, especially so in Great Britain, I admit that I would have been crowing with delight.
I'd be interested to know what others, particularly the Americans among you, now think of this man now that the dust has settled - was he a self-destructing fool, a man unfairly condemned, or someone in between?
The film was something of an education for me, and in that respect I found it both entertaining and informative. I do, however, wonder what I would have thought of this film had I already had an opinion of the man.....................6.5.
1 hour ago