After Steve Bannon left the White House in 2017, he tried to turn his bombastic nationalism into a global movement and let a progressive documentarian follow him for more than a year — Arizona to Italy, Texas to France.

  • The result is "The Brink," a fly-on-the-wall, cinéma vérité film coming to theaters March 29, and being screened in D.C. on Tuesday.

Despite Bannon's extensive cooperation (and experience in the movie business), the WashPost's Steven Zeitchik wrote in conjunction with the Sundance Film festival premiere that the film is ultimately a "damaging portrait": "A number of moments seem to make the argument that Bannon's populism is a pose."

  • Variety said the film "sees right through his hate games."

"The Brink" follows Bannon through the midterms, "shedding light on his efforts to mobilize and unify far-right parties in order to win seats in the May 2019 European Parliamentary elections," according to the filmmaker, Magnolia Films.

  • "A keen manipulator of the press and gifted self-promoter, Bannon continues to draw headlines and protests wherever he goes, feeding the powerful myth on which his survival relies."

Director Alison Klayman says in a Q&A from the filmmaker [Corrects speaker]:

I overheard a lot of gross macho talk that was transphobic and anti-liberal, but I always tried to stay invisible and not make my gender a thing, even though I was the only woman present a lot of the time. ...
Bannon is a very old-fashioned guy, he would occasionally call me "dear," and it made me mad, but I just bit my tongue. I didn't want to be singled out as a woman filmmaker, but at the same time this movie was being made by two progressive women who are trying to capture systemic problems — it's a movie about men who want the traditional hierarchies that exist in the world to prevail.

Bannon, 65, who has seen the film, declined to comment on the record.

  • D.C. screening tomorrow: The filmmakers will participate in an advance screening of "The Brink" at Landmark's E Street Cinema on Tuesday, followed by a panel discussion with The Guardian’s Paul Lewis. To attend the 6pm reception and 7pm screening, RSVP here.

Film website.

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