On Friday, metro Atlanta will be one of 10 spots in the country that will see the debut of “The Undefeated,” the glowing documentary of Sarah Palin.
The Palin movie will have an exclusive seven-day run at the AMC Barrett Commons theater complex off Barrett Parkway in Cobb County. Director Steve Bannon, a former investment banker turned filmmaker, is already in Atlanta and plans to be in Kennesaw tomorrow evening – possibly with a CNN crew.
We were able to catch Bannon for a brief chat this afternoon. The highlights are below:
Insider: The film is an hour and fifty-minutes long. Only at the 65-minute mark do you finish with experience as governor of Alaska. Why is that?
Bannon: Everybody comes into Sarah Palin’s story at the Republican convention, when she was selected [as the vice presidential nominee]. Here, you’re over an hour into the movie before you actually get to see that. That’s why the convention speech hits people that see it now so differently than then. Because then, we all thought it was performance art. Now, we see that she’s really telling us about herself.
Insider: I learned a lot about Alaskan energy policy.
Bannon: AMC and the distributor would have liked me to cut it down. But you don’t get the cathartic experience in Act Three until you have that level of granularity. The other thing was, I wanted to have a record. The reason I made this film was that I heard so many guys in Washington and on Wall Street denigrate this woman, and deride her for her lack of intelligence, her lack of capacity, her lack of capability.
And to be brutally frank, as you’ve seen this kabuki theater were watching this week on the debt negotiations – it’s all just a bunch of hooey. They’re not really talking about real cuts. They’re not talking about solutions.
….This woman is a woman of extraordinary confidence. Certainly, pound for pound, as good as the guys that were deriding her. And that’s why I wanted to make it. And in making it – that Act Two is like a Harvard Business School case study about a turnaround and a restructuring. And it’s complicated. But one of the points was she didn’t take on school uniform issues. She took on the tough, intractable, Gordian-knot issues.
Insider: I was most interested in the last 15 minutes in the film, where you outlined how Palin had been snubbed by the Republican establishment. One of the voices in the film, Andrew Breitbart, refers to the GOP hierarchy as “eunuchs.”
Bannon: It’s worse than snubbed. I think that’s why there’s a lot of seething discontent below the surface in the Republican party and the conservative movement. I tried to pull the camera back, [and] put Governor Palin and her career in some sort of perspective. I chose [Mark] Levin, Breitbart, and [Tammy] Bruce for a specific reason.
….There’s a big disconnect. There are certain of us in the conservative movement, in the tea party movement, that think the tea party movement is in direct lineage with Governor Reagan’s and President Reagan’s revolution. The Bush Republican establishment think [the tea party movement] stems directly from [1992 third-party presidential candidate] Ross Perot. And that’s why they’re so distrustful of it. The Perot fiasco is why Bush 41 went back to Kennebunkport four years early.
They see it not as a good thing, but as a thing that has to be controlled, a thing to be feared….
It’s very important, before we can take on President Obama, who I think has a very well-defined, progressive, liberal philosophy – I don’t think there’s a coherent, counter-philosophy on our side of the football. I think the Republican establishment, as they’ve proven in 2002 and 2008, is just a slow walk to the same statism. And I think that’s what the tea party revolt is all about. We need a primary like we had in 1976. We need a fight for the heart and soul of the conservative movement.
Insider: How much does the film represent Palin’s thinking?
Bannon: Governor Palin has been on the record….saying she loves it, and she wants everyone in the country to see it. It energizes her. She loves the film and it speaks for her team. Though I’m the writer and director – every time someone asks her, she says she really agrees with what’s in the film.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider
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