Weiner

Film, Documentaries
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
Weiner

A documentary portrait of embattled NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner

This fly-on-the-wall political doc follows Anthony Weiner on the campaign trail in 2013 to become mayor of New York. Weiner is staging a political comeback following a sexting scandal that ended his career in Congress. After getting a few unavoidable boner headlines out of the way, ‘Weiner’ settles into intimate portrait mode. The naturally flamboyant Weiner, accompanied by his wife Huma Abedin (a powerful advisor to Hillary Clinton), is leading in the polls, but not everything goes to plan.

Political junkies might know what happens next: more allegations of inappropriate contact, leaked photos and the public disclosure of Weiner’s regrettable online alias ‘Carlos Danger’. In the documentary’s riveting second stretch, during a sweltering summer, we see a marriage reduced to resentful stares and Weiner adding to his woes with inept TV appearances.

Co-directors Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg stay out of their subject’s way and let the train wreck unfold with a minimum of commentary. When Kriegman is heard at a low point asking ‘Why did you let me film this?’ you’re glad the question is asked. But there’s no need for an answer: the narcissism is all up there on screen.

By: Joshua Rothkopf

Posted:

Release details

Release date:
Friday July 8 2016
Duration:
96 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg
Screenwriter:
Josh Kriegman, Eli B. Despres, Elyse Steinberg

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

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tastemaker

This is a documentary which asks how important a rather minor sex scandal should be to a politicians career. 

I entered the cinema with no knowledge of who Weiner was or what he stood for. I left knowing that he was a New York candidate for Mayer, and not much else.

The documentary is well made, and engaging ,but I would have found it more satisfying if it had more informative.

Tastemaker

A brilliantly crafted and utterly compelling documentary that won grand jury prize for best documentary at Sundance. I knew next to nothing about Anthony Weiner when I went to see it, but it grabbed me from the get-go.

Weiner is an American politician who campaigned to become New York's mayor, and his magnifying presence - coupled with his genuine passion and anger against injustice - is undoubtedly admirable. He is seen battling for the rights of the common man at every turn.

However, this film doesn't shy away from his flaws, either - it documents in detail how a 'sexting' scandal ultimately undid Weiner and unravelled his credibility for a lot of people.

Yet the documentary is equally a critique of the US mainstream media and its focus on sensationalism over substance - it is made clear that the media paid a lot more attention to the 'sexting' scandal than Weiner's actual policies, and perhaps this too contributed to his ultimate downfall.