Real Clear Politics Scott Conroy got an exclusive look at “The Undefeated,” a new documentary about Sarah Palin. Certainly it’s not a novel idea for a project, but what is unique is that the movie comes from conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon, apparently at her request. The premiere will be in Iowa.
Conroy writes, “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.”
Palin even serves as a kind of de facto narrator, as Bannon acquired audio rights to her book “Going Rogue” so he could lay the track of her voice.
Hollywood is a target, as it has been from time to time for Palin in her speeches.
Conroy writes, “To convey Bannon’s view of the pathology behind Palin-hatred, the film begins with a fast-paced sequence of clips showing some of the prominent celebrities who have used sexist, derogatory and generally vicious language to describe her.
“Rosie O’Donnell, Matt Damon, Bill Maher, David Letterman, and Howard Stern all have brief cameos before comedian Louis C.K. goes off on a particularly ugly anti-Palin riff.
“”I hate her more than anybody,” C.K. says at the end of his tirade, the rest of which is unfit to print here.”
Essentially, this is a way to use documentary film, certainly not a novel medium, to recast Palin’s image. It’s not out of the question that what is an old school medium can do so in today’s environment: The purpose of “An Inconvenient Truth” was to sound the warning about climate change, but it certainly helped put Al Gore on a different tier in he public’s mindset and helped set in motion endless speculation about whether he would run in 2008.
“The Undefeated” sounds like a more overt way to draft Palin into the presidential race, if she hasn’t made a decision, one way or the other, already.
Bannon has specialized in a number of conservative pics in recent years, including “Generation Zero,” “In the Face of Evil” and “Fire from the Heartland.” According to a bio used in the promotion for one of his movies, he’s spent the past 15 years in media investment banking and film financing, serving as execuitve producer of Julie Taymor’s “Titus” and exec producer of Sean Penn’s “Indian Runner.” Here’s video of him speaking at a Tea Party rally in New York City last year, and an interview he gave at the CPAC convention in February.