Former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner was a fiery Democrat in the house, pushing back against Republican legislation with gusto. Of course, this is likely not what you remember him for. Instead, he is often remembered for certain lewd photographs that caused a media frenzy and his resignation. Weiner follows the former politician during his 2013 run for mayor of New York City, a bid marked by his fervent and exhausting attempt to shed the demons of his past.
The novelty of Weiner is its inside access into a public figure known best by paratexts that have buried him. Politics aside, this access is illuminating and fascinating. And the added wrinkles in his 2013 political resurfacing only make the film more personal and revealing.
With all the camera is privy to amid the maelstrom, it is easy to feel that a knowledge of the camera’s presence is priming everyone’s on-screen presentation of themselves. In spite of this, the film presents a mesmerizing decline in which seeing a man bubble up slowly in the face of public scrutiny is transfixing and brutal.
Dissociated from one’s political affiliation in regard to the film’s subject, Weiner provides a firmly engaging narrative of a figure tamped down by the boot of the public eye. Weiner’s own closing words sum it up in as succinct a way as anyone could, his voice wilted with fatigue and defeat. Taking a story drenched in media obfuscation and titillation and running with it with a more serious journalistic intent, Weiner brings to light issues that transcend its subject pertaining to the nature of American politics and news media.
Weiner is currently available to rent/buy on Amazon Video here.
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)