June 6th, 2011
08:15 AM ET
3 years ago

Sneak peek at pro-Palin film

(CNN) - The intense debate over Sarah Palin, her career and her influence will only get more intense with the release later this month of a two hour feature film documentary about her. Make no mistake though - this is not an impartial examination. It was made and conceived by conservative filmmaker Steve Bannon.

The $1 million film, titled "The Undefeated," is expected to debut in the key early voting state of Iowa later this month and is also scheduled to be viewed in New Hampshire and South Carolina, which also happen to be critical states in the Republican nomination fight.

Several key Palin aides approached Bannon, who previously produced a film about former President Ronald Reagan and who had been following the tea party movement, about making a series of videos to try to counter some of the negative portrayals of her and to highlight some of her policy and legislative achievements. Instead he suggested a feature film, which he proceeded to make and finance.

In recent days Bannon held screenings of the film in Washington, D.C. and New York.

"I just thought that her story just had these huge themes in it," he told reporters Sunday. "She's one of the most saturated people in media in the world, and I don't think anybody knows her story … this person that is covered totally with the media – the story's there in broad daylight, in print, but it's never been brought together electronically."

Bannon said he had complete editorial control over the film.

Palin, who wasn't interviewed for the project, is heard in it because Bannon optioned the rights to the audio version of her book "Going Rogue" and so her voice narrates part of the film. She told reporters last week she had seen a preliminary cut of it and liked it.

Divided into three acts and a post-script, the film uses interviews with former aides and historical footage and photos to tell the story. It begins with the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the role that incident played in inspiring Palin to run for her first political office - the mayor of her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska. It covers not only her tenure as mayor but her time as a member of the state's oil and gas commission, her run as governor and then details her being tapped as the GOP vice presidential nominee and the ethics complaints filed against her. The film also details her decision to step down as governor in the summer of 2009 and paints her as an anti-establishment, anti-elitist political figure - trying to portray her both as a sympathetic and engaging political leader as well as an attempt to diffuse the controversy over her stepping down in the middle of her first term.

"I'm trying to force the issue that you can't grasp the meaning of Sarah Palin until you understand the stewardship of Gov. Palin. And that is something that I think has to be addressed – particularly if she's going to be viewed as a potential national leader. What was her stewardship like? What's her decision making like?" Bannon said.

The film does not delve into some of the negative aspects of her career - such as the lingering differences with the Murkowski family after she defeated incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski in the 2006 GOP gubernatorial primary or the opposition now in the state to a tax hike she put on the oil and gas industry - but does try to paint her in the best light possible by portraying her as an outsider, anti-establishment figure.

Bannon told reporters he is struck by the violent imagery and language directed at Palin, and that he wants the audience to see it.

"The language of violence against this woman is a pathology. It's shocking," he told reporters.

As with almost everything related to Palin, opinions of the film are expected to be pretty strong.

A review in the New York Post, for example, put it this way:

"Its tone is an excruciating combination of bombast and whining, it's so outlandishly partisan that it makes Richard Nixon look like Abraham Lincoln and its febrile rush of images – not excluding earthquakes, car wrecks, volcanic eruption and attacking Rottweilers – reminded me of the brainwash movie Alex is forced to sit through in "A Clockwork Orange." Except no one came along to refresh my pupils with eye drops."

– On Monday, June 13, CNN will host the first New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate, live from Manchester, NH at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on CNNPolitics.com and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.


Filed under: 2012 • Sarah Palin
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. nintex

    She doesn't have enough brains to speak to the public face-to-face; she has to make a movie about herself so people will know who she is. We already KNOW who she is – an idiot with the attention span of a gnat who makes up facts as she goes along and doesn't have a clue about how to run the country. She's going to implode someday under the pressure of trying to fake us into thinking she knows anything about anything. She has a personality/mental condition that requires her to be in front of a camera at all times with adoring idiots clapping for her and throwing money her way.

    June 6, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. Embroiderista

    Shouldn't they have called it "The Quitter"?

    June 6, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. Things That Make You Go ... Hmm ?

    Has Palin EVER be invited by 1 of the 4 colleges she attended [over 6 years] to give a commencement addresss?

    I`d bet most graduates that were repsected a a "Mayor", "Governor", or "Vice Presidential Nominee" would have been.

    How about Palin ?

    *** crickets chirping ***

    June 6, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  4. Greg in Arkansas

    The Undefeated--more like The Unbelieveable

    June 6, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  5. Ivan Bial

    lets not slight her co-stars
    Bugs Bunny
    Daffy Duck
    And "The Three Stooges"

    June 6, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. John

    Who care about all these Clown any way. Let the CIRCUS begin. Until Michele Bachmann and Saran Palin get In It , Than It become a JOKE. I could Understand why the big Republican want someone else to ran, Because the one that all ready say they are running and the one that haven't say anything yet are petty much a joke. People try to tell the Republican party that the Tea Party was turning the party Into a big Joke ,but they wouldn't listen.

    June 6, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. cm

    I said it once and I will say it again and again, I am so sick of these HILLBILLIES. One blogger took the words out of my mouth
    crawl back under that rock or mountain that McCain pulled you from. Those poor kids will never be normal.

    June 6, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. MiddleOfTheRoad

    Sarah Palin embodies everything that is wrong with the U.S. .........Make that humanity.

    June 6, 2011 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  9. Dave

    LOL! This will be another opportunity for everyone to see what a massive idiot she is!

    June 6, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
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