HotDocs ’16 – Day 2: Weiner

Day 2 - Weiner_1

Weiner (USA, 2016): Right before the scandal that all but destroyed his career, Anthony Weiner was a force to reckon within the Democratic Party. Passionate and eloquent, there were more than a few who saw him as a presidential card.

This documentary covers Weiner’s run for Mayor of New York in 2013, after the photos of his junk hit Twitter, but before the sexting scandal. The film is a portrait of a smart, well-intentioned man with two fatal flaws: His libido and his ego. Instead of disappearing into the shadows after the original snafu, the politician went back to the trenches at the first opportunity, despite the fact his family was still reeling from his previous indiscretion.

Even more fascinating than Weiner is his wife, Hilary Clinton’s advisor Huma Abedin. A very compelling figure, here is a woman trying to save her husband career without jeopardizing hers. As for the marriage’s healthiness, the jury is out: Abedin may stand behind Weiner, but no gestures of genuine affection are captured on camera.

The access filmmakers Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg got is remarkable. There are plenty of profoundly uncomfortable moments on display. Credit to Anthony Weiner for allowing such scrutiny. He may have wronged his family and blown his career to smithereens, but there are plenty of public figures that have done much worse and gotten a free pass. 4/5 prairie dogs.

Weiner will also play on Saturday, April 30th, and Friday, May 6th.

Author: Jorge Ignacio Castillo

Journalist, film critic, documentary filmmaker, and sometimes nice guy. Member of the Vancouver Film Critics Circle. Like horror flicks, long walks on the beach and candlelight dinners. Allergic to cats.