The Brink is a fascinating one-year close-up on Steve Bannon

There aren’t many politicians on the far right who openly embrace terms like neo-Nazi or racist, even if they espouse the views. They prefer to be called nationalists, patriots or the hip-sounding alt-right.

But Steve Bannon seems almost to be courting comparison. In the first scene of the fly-on-the-wall documentary The Brink, he openly admires the engineering that went into the Nazi’s Birkenau death camp. Later he asks himself, while making a vile piece of propaganda called Trump @ War – self-published and available for free on YouTube – “What would Leni Riefenstahl do?”

Filmmaker Alison Klayman (Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry) is mostly content to let Bannon show his true colours without comment, although I think it’s her voice at one point correcting his pronunciation of Chinese vice-president Wang Qishan. Frustrated, he shoots back: “You know anyone else who says it like that?” Only about a billion people, she replies mildly.

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The film follows Bannon for about a year, from his 2017 departure from his job as Donald Trump’s chief advisor, to the 2018 midterm elections that saw Democrats take back control of the House of Representatives. He mostly spends his days bouncing around Europe, trying to cobble together a coalition of anti-immigrant politicians while being pilloried in the British press. The Guardian’s Paul Lewis is particularly effective at calling out his dog-whistle racism for what it is.

An unhappy Bannon takes to comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln, who wrote about America being on the brink of destruction, with himself surrounded by enemies. But Bannon is no Lincoln. He’s merely a cog in a right-wing machine. This is a fascinating close-up of that gear.

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Source:: Nationalpost


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