Weiner

Documentary Films | 2016 | 100 minutes

Stranger Says:

As everyone knows, sexts brought Anthony Weiner’s brilliant political career to an end not once but twice. The first time, in 2011, was not fatal; the second time, in 2013, was. The first time cost him his seat in Congress; the second, his chance of becoming the mayor of NYC. The documentary is about his second and final fall. But the real star of this very entertaining documentary is Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin. Her face, her body, her movements are a ship that crosses the crises of her marriage with admirable steadiness. Her husband has only a poor idea of her greatness; Hillary Clinton, however, knows the real value of this woman, which is why she keeps Huma close to her as she runs for president. In the documentary, we watch Huma dump her husband’s political career for Hillary’s. (CHARLES MUDEDE)

SIFF Says:

Foodies have their nose-to-tail movement, in which every bit of a beast is served up, from filet to tripe. Weiner may represent a similar innovation in politics. Now, a scant three years after Anthony Weiner’s New York City mayoral campaign tanked because he was sexting women under the pseudonym “Carlos Danger,” the campaign’s embedded documentarians serve up the results of their unlimited behind-the-scenes access: interviews, campaign events, and cable news sound bites. Filmmaker Josh Kriegman told a Park City, Utah, press conference (called for the film, not the candidacy) that he and co-director Elyse Steinberg wanted to “show how much the political conversation is driven by these easy narratives and sensational headlines and one-liners.” Well, maybe—the line between telling Weiner jokes and making meta-commentary on them can be a thin one. Studio executives have hyped the film’s other draw: footage of Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, currently an aide to Hillary Clinton. Abedin’s prominence in the film’s publicity points to its lack in the Weiner story, if not in the film. Unlike the dramatic fall of New York governor Eliot Spitzer, Weiner’s drop was short, from also-ran to loser. Weiner’s can’t-miss meta moment has to be Weiner and Abedin, sitting in their living room on the morning after the election, being asked by Kriegman, “Why have you let me film this?”


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Film Credits
Director
Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg
Cast
Festivals
SIFF 2016