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Posts Tagged ‘Alison Klayman’

Steve Bannon

“THE BRINK” My rating: B (Now at the Screenland Tapcade)

91 minutes | No MPAA rating

Most liberals, it’s safe to say, would rather endure three hours of oral surgery than spend 90 minutes with Steve Bannon,  alt-right Sith lord and mastermind behind the Trump presidential campaign.

They ignore Bannon at their own peril.

For “The Brink” filmmaker Alison Klayman (“Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry”) spent nearly a year following the post-White House Bannon, eavesdropping as he continues his quest for economic nationalism. Bannon has expanded his ambitions beyond the U.S., becoming a force in the right-wing politics of several nations where he advocates the return of “old-school Christian democracy rooted in the European tradition.”

It’s worrisome.

“The Brink,” a title obviously chosen for its ominous implications, falls well short of the hatchet job liberals might desire.  For one thing, Bannon can be charmingly self-deprecating. He laughs at the scruffy, overweight image he often presents (“a gross-looking Jabba the Hutt drunk”) and is a quick-witted and compelling speaker (providing, of course, you appreciate his message).

Despite his reputation, Bannon is never caught doing or saying anything overtly racist.  He claims that economic nationalism binds all Americans together, and that it trumps all issues of race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. He blames America’s industrial elites for abandoning all civic conscience and chasing money by shipping jobs abroad. On that last point he sounds not unlike the Democratic Party’s neo-lefties.

He says  there was no glamor in working for the White House, claiming to have hated every moment of his tenure. Churches have a positive energy, he claims, while a Jersey strip club has another kind of energy.  “The West Wing has bad karma…because you’re doing evil stuff. I thought I was doing the Lord’s work.”

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