Shortly after Republicans swept last November to a historic victory in which Sarah Palin was credited with playing a central role, the former Alaska governor pulled aside her close aide, Rebecca Mansour, to discuss a hush-hush assignment: Reach out to conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon with a request. Ask him if he would make a series of videos extolling Palin’s governorship and laying to rest lingering questions about her controversial decision to resign from office with a year-and-a-half left in her first term. It was this abdication, Palin knew, that had made her damaged goods in the eyes of some Republicans who once were eager to get behind her potential 2012 presidential campaign.
The response was more positive than Palin could have hoped for. He’d make a feature-length movie, Bannon told Mansour, and he insisted upon taking complete control and financing it himself—to the tune of $1 million.
The fruits of that initial conversation are now complete. The result is a two-hour-long, sweeping epic, a rough cut of which Bannon screened privately for Sarah and Todd Palin last Wednesday in Arizona, where Alaska’s most famous couple has been rumored to have purchased a new home. When it premieres in Iowa next month, the film is poised to serve as a galvanizing prelude to Palin’s prospective presidential campaign—an unconventional reintroduction to the nation that she and her political team have spent months eagerly anticipating, even as Beltway Republicans have largely concluded that she won’t run.Balloon Juice's comment section is going wild thinking of alternate titles to the dubious actual one, The Undefeated. I guess what happened in 2008 and quitting early don't count as being "defeated."
Sullivan's thoughts echo my own.
It may be a testing of the waters. But it has a crucial Palin aspect. It is entirely controlled by her; it is designed as pure propaganda; she is running against the media; she is running as a victim; she is running for revenge.I expect the film will borrow heavily from the techniques of Eisenstein and Leni Reifenstahl. But I'm torn: The film critic in me (I still haven't gotten to do much of that on this blog, which I promised myself I would do) is morbidly curious. The Democrat in me is overjoyed - Palin will do nothing but cause embarrassment to the GOP and possibly drive the field to the right, the better to appease her rabid followers. The American in me, however, thinks that this isn't the time for self-aggrandizing propaganda and extremism. Not with the problems we have now. We need both parties acting like adults and reaching compromises. Palin doesn't do anything to make that goal more achievable.
I, for one, feel nothing but a chill go up my spine.
Queen Esther is coming. Look busy.
NOTE: I'm willing to entertain wagers on an over/under of how many times the phrases "Real American" and "Real America" are uttered or displayed in the film. I'll be conservative and set the over/under at 25. Once every five minutes or so seems about right given the usual content (or lack thereof) of Palin's speeches.
UPDATE: Other Side also references Reifenstahl. Nice to know I'm not the only one running afoul of Godwin's Law this morning. Heh.