BUFS PREVIEW: Weiner

A still from Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg’s Weiner / Gq.com

 

This week BUFS is pleased to present  directed by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg.

Weiner is a documentary comedy that explores today’s political landscape and focuses on disgraced New York Congressman, Anthony Weiner and his Mayoral campaign.

When the film was envisioned, Directors, Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg had intended to document Anthony Weiner’s Mayoral comeback after an initial sexting scandal had gotten the public and media’s attention and forced him to resign from congress in 2011. Weiner was caught using the pseudo name Carlos Danger to flirt with and exhibit himself to other women. He publically apologized and promised America he would change. When he got back into politics and decided to run for Mayor, the polls showed that his reputation had rebounded. The consensus was that the public had forgiven him.

This comeback quickly gets derailed in the film as a second scandal emerges during his Mayoral campaign. Kriegman and Steinberg are right there, up close and personal to capture it as it all unfolds. They use this footage to explore Weiner’s ferocity as he fights back against the paparazzi who relentlessly ask him questions about his personal life and parade it for the public to see. Kriegman and Steinberg somehow manage to create a rather likeable, energetic and funny character in Weiner by selecting footage of his speeches both from when he was in Congress and running for Mayor.  Weiner is demonstrated as extremely articulate, forceful and enthusiastic when it comes to politics.  These scenes are juxtaposed against scenes from his response to the scandal, which quickly demonstrates that his personal life isn’t in the same standing.

The film is also a depiction of a marriage in disarray. Weiner is married to Huma Abedin who is the assistant to one of the most politically powerful woman in the United States, Hilary Clinton. The film takes us to discomforting places as we watch Huma, who takes the stance of the supportive wife, but ultimately you can see by her clenched body language and eye rolls that she is visibly shaken by the release of the second scandal.

This portrait of an arrogant politician’s self destruction can be likened to other political scandals such as Bill Clinton, John Edward and Elliot Spitzer. However, the film manages to convey this with some comical relief that has you laughing and cringing all at the same time.

Weiner screens Wednesday at 7 P.M. at Landmark Theatres, Pen Centre. Visit www.brocku.ca/bufs for details.

-Desirae Stack, Contributor 

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