Sarah Palin: You Betcha!
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Posted: Tue Sep 27 2011
After a successful foray into narrative features, documentarian Nick Broomfield (Kurt & Courtney) returns to vrit with this weak-tea expos on potential presidential candidate and No. 1 mama grizzly, Sarah Palin. Kicking around Wasilla, Alaska---ground zero for Palin's self-generated myth---Broomfield and crew up turn up little beyond vague character assessments and assassinations from fellow pageant contestants, former competitors and a legion of disgruntled ex-employees. (The phrase thrown under the bus is a constant refrain.) Palin herself is only a fleeting presence, glimpsed at book signings and conferences but never interviewed.
You Betcha! churns up a lot of the bodies left in the former Alaskan governor's wake, notably regarding the Troopergate scandal and Palin's willingness to use the apparatus of state for a personal vendetta. Her detractors will mine this doc for circumstantial evidence, but even they may blanch at Broomfield's sneering approach to small-town America. When he buys a pair of antlers from Palin's father, the gonzo filmmaker practically brims with smug delight, as if he can't wait to tell his friends back home. Palin may have lost her taste for the responsibilities of office, but thanks to Broomfield's barely veiled condescension, this slightly prejudiced portrait could win her more supporters than it loses.
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Author: Sam Adams