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. Clwyd

    I bet it will be a comic animated feature. Just like Sarah!

    June 6, 2011 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    There is rumor that an undercover camera crew (from the producers of the "Jackass" movies) is among the media entourage that is following Mayor Palin's tour bus.

    June 6, 2011 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  3. GI Joe

    Oh good Gawd. I certainly won't waste my time on watching THE brainless twit. Ugh!!! She demeans women with her every idiotic statement and move. GET HER OUT OF THE SPOTLIGHT. The dummies that send her money have to be on welfare - they're not smart enough to get a job or make enough money to retire.

    June 6, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    .....attempt to diffuse the controversy over her stepping down in the middle of her first term.
    ----------–
    She stepped down because she had lost control of the office. It had been allowed to run itself during the '08 campaigns, and it festered. She returned to an office that was under attack by the right and the left, and riddled with blooming scandals and controversies. So, she quit claiming that it was in the best interests of Alasks that she resign. It probably was. Eliot Spitzer resigned as Governer of New York citing the best interests of the state. He, too, was probably correct.

    June 6, 2011 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  5. TPF

    Come on America, it's a comedy.

    June 6, 2011 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  6. Indy

    Palin has been defeated many times in the past four years and the vast majority will not ever see this movie so it will likely be defeated and go down as a flop. The only reason some one would have a movie made about themselves is because they are shallow and are not able to portray themselves as professional and unable to speak to the majority in a way that makes sense. This is what you call "Pussyfooting" around instead of letting the truth and actions speak for themselves you put out a movie with soundbites and that is pretty much Palins life, soundbites. Most of her policy and legislation in Alaska is currently being overturned and corrected and she does not have a good record with all the abuse,expense fraud and incompetence and a one view movie will not change facts. I do think that all half term Governors and former mayors of small towns should make movies about themselves. There will be people that are stupid enough to believe this movie but I am guessing there will be at least 299 million in the country that will not fall for this prank.

    June 6, 2011 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  7. Steve, New York City

    Palin is a "dunce" – if I have ever seen one. She couldn't finish her term as governor, it took her 6 years (and several schools) to finally earn a BA from a no-name college, and now her understanding of some of the highlights of US history are a question mark, at best.
    The last thing the United States needs is for a "dangerous idiot" like Sarah Palin to have more of a voice. Why does the far right lionize "folksy," gun-slinging, (white evangelical) extremists from rural parts of the country? Why are you people so attracted to idiot, simpletons who are addicted to the same catch-phrases? We need a smart person at the helm that is capable of critical thinking, and not more "bring it on" – don't worry Palin, maybe I'll call you if my snowmobile needs a tune-up.

    June 6, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  8. Thomas

    "series of videos to try to counter some of the negative portrayals of her and to highlight some of her policy and legislative achievements."

    Who wants to watch a six minute film?

    June 6, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  9. Louis in Wisc.

    The "Undefeated" really did she forget about the last race she was in or is it another I can see Russia from my house moment.....

    June 6, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The right wingnuts must not think losing leads to defeat? Sarah has lost a major political campaign, and has endorsed losing candidates for national office who should not be allowed on streets. By contrast, the Florida Seminoles are truly undefeated, and it has nothing to do with football.

    June 6, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  11. Terry Gloege

    If you listen real hard you can hear laughter coming from the PT Barnum grave site.

    June 6, 2011 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  12. michael

    palin will say anything and unfortunately if you say it enough and with enough bombast some will believe it to be true because they do not know any better. she speaks to the ignorant of this country who dont know the difference between truth and fantasy. in the end she will fail and end up a joke

    June 6, 2011 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  13. Scott

    Propaganda at its finest...

    June 6, 2011 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  14. cleveland

    she is about as sharp as a sack of wet mice

    June 6, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  15. Mark

    It's probably a terrific comedy. I would also bet there are blatant lies that the neocons will defend, as usual. If she ever became president, God forbid, she would rewrite the history books the way she believed things happened. In other words, George Bush did not start the war in Iraq, Clinton did. She is living in a world of illusion.

    June 6, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  16. Mike

    When it comes to being governor, her slogan was "Quit, baby, quit".

    June 6, 2011 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  17. Chris

    Palin has enough brain-dead sheep following her that this film is bound to make some money. Don't be mistaken, like any movie, this was produced to make a profit from a guaranteed audience.

    June 6, 2011 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    When asked on Fox News Sunday what her solutions would be for the economy, Palin offered only non-answers (read catch phrases) and nothing new that we have not heard from her in the past. The best thing in her remark is what she didn't say, she stopped short of saying, "Drill, baby, drill." She was trying to create a new sound bite of that magnititude and came of as reaching. BTW, she did not create the phrase 'drill baby drill", either.

    June 6, 2011 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  19. John

    If It a truth Is told It will let everyone just how big of a IDIOT Saran Palin Is. Because I don't care what this movie about I will Not watch It ,because she Is Till the most UNQUALIFIED person to ran for any Pubic Office. Let a long to be President. She would destroy America. And any body that think she would make a good one ,Is nutter than she Is.

    June 6, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  20. FM

    Quitting her last job as a governor, offset what good things she did in the past!

    June 6, 2011 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  21. DA

    This lady would be worst than George W Bush, if she was to win the GOP nomination. LOL
    Now, if you ask me Trump should be investigating this lady as the biggest fraud since he was playing around with running for President a few months ago. She has the media by the nose!! One minute she talking about how unfair they have been treating her and the next she is trying her best to just stay in the media limelight in order for attention. The media could do all America a favor and just ignore her and let Fox do all of it. I mean she is still employed there.

    June 6, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  22. The Elephant In The Room

    Thank God we have years of audio and YouTube video evidence of Palin`s OWN WORDS and deeds to reveal who she is.

    Otherwise, if she had the brains to go dark for 4 years, she might re-emerge in 2016 as a clensed candidate.

    She`s trying to pull a "Reagan".

    June 6, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  23. Senor Ed

    Does the film suddenly quit half way through?

    June 6, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The Undefeated--- She is the undefeated national record holder in stupidity and idiotic, non-informed utterances.

    June 6, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  25. NVa Native

    I give up. I always wanted to stay away from any "term" that might be even slightly sexist, but Palin has sunk so low there is nothing else that can be said – Palin is a bimbo.
    Palin deserves to be ridiculed ever time it is appropriate – which is historically is whenever she opens her extremely wide mouth.

    June 6, 2011 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
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