In Sarah Palin: You Betcha! filmmaker Nick Broomfield tracks down friends, relatives and colleagues of polarizing Alaska politician Sarah Palin in this irreverent documentary. All Broomfield does in this film is go to Alaska to find the sources of the many stories that have surrounded Palin and find out the truth of her past as Mayor and Governor. Among those interviewed are plenty of folks with axes to grind. Very entertaining documentary — but with a very unfortunate name and poster. It’s not a romp. It’s actually quite scary. I found this unauthorized story of Palin’s early political career to be quite eye-opening and more than a little disturbing. The only real question worthy of debate is, “How much of what’s in the film is actually true?” The most damning accusations made in the movie are by former friends, colleagues and even an ex-family member who say they knew Palin personally and/or professionally while she was serving as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, and then later as governor. Some criticism appears to be supported by credible evidence, including the accusation that upon winning the Governor’s seat, Palin immediately set about pursuing a personal vendetta to destroy the career of the state trooper who had married and then divorced her sister. This is a fair and factual documentary. The people speaking out against Sarah are people that have worked for and with her, who at one time supported her and were members of the same political party. This is not about blue or red. Trooper-gate, look it up. It happened. The firing of the police chief was a disgrace. This anti-Palin documentary depicts her as an ambitious, right wing, religious, gay-hating, ignorant, buffoon. I file this one under truth and reality. This film was produced by British Channel Four, known for producing excellent and properly vetted documentaries, and I see no indication of them failing in this one. Nick Broomfield’s documentary, which could have easily been called, “In Search of Sarah Palin”, is a lot less tabloid than many of his other documentaries and one of the most entertaining political profile road movies I’ve ever seen. I was not bored for one second. Nick seems to have toned down his “A Current Affair” type approach to bring some (I said ‘some’) balance to this piece, which is unintentionally funny without any editorializing. Wow, the woman really is as stupid as Tina Fey portrayed. But, this shows another side as well, the hunger for power at any cost. But if she can’t have power, she’s happy to settle for attention. Eva Peron, but without the intelligence! Palin is not only an unaware and misinformed “ordinary” person, but she appears to be rather vindictive, superficial and downright resentful of those she sees as enemies. What is scary is the number of people who think like her, or are so gullible to believe the tripe she is hawking. Schmidt was a senior consultant on McCain’s campaign who has already spoken out about Palin believing the Queen of England was the head of the UK (Thatcher would roll her eyes) and not having a grasp of history nor an understanding of current events. I was a big Sarah Palin fan but I am very glad now that I watched this documentary. She definitely abused her power and can’t stand anyone that opposes her. It shocking how that has been a major theme throughout her life. Now I know that she is not a role model of mine. I think this film was clearly biased, but I enjoyed it. I didn’t have any illusions about Palin being a truly nice person when she was selected by McCain’s people, nor did I think she was a right fit. She was an un-researched, last ditch effort in a losing campaign. It is terrible that McCain and she put herself in that position, but I don’t feel bad for her at all. This gossipy film reinforces that feeling. Don’t feel any sorrier for Palin than you would for anyone else whose bright star has inevitably dimmed a bit. She made millions promoting an elite agenda of deregulation coupled with the usual “freedom” mantra for Murdoch and the Tea Party, with tax loopholes for the wealthiest 1%. Ironically, once her usefulness plateaus she’ll be replaced like a game show contestant in a stunningly similar fashion to the way she’d disposed of anyone (regardless of how close they’d been) deemed no longer politically viable. That’s justice… and karma, the Hindu word for justice, really. However, if you are a serious critic of American politics then you already know Sarah Palin had no place in the lineup. You knew that once the decision was made, and a far better video to lay that out for you is HBO’s Game Changewhich is also now on Netflix. I also loved the Borat inspired prank that Palin is made the victim of as the end credits rolled, classic. Broomfield tried many times to interview Palin herself about her actions and the claims made against her but she refused. My favorite part is when after months of trying to make direct contact with Sarah Palin he catches up with her at a book signing and says:”I thought we were going to have to interview Tina Fey.” I’m no fan at all of Palin, and am quite glad that she’s not in any position anymore to take the White House (or, indeed, any other position of political importance). Hopefully she is done now. This documentary is an important one because it shows you Wasilla and the beliefs that catapult sociopaths into political office, and the people Sarah has done dirty. This film documents the cruelty of Sarah, her underlings and followers, who simply like her because she is pretty and cordial. It’s actually quite scary. She comes off as a vengeful, angry sociopath, and this based on stories from people who have worked very closely with her and were all abruptly ousted from her circle of trust and fired. You can look at the evidence, much of which has already come out in the national press, and wonder how on earth in a country as important as the US can a woman of complete ignorance and apparent clinical narcissism get so close to the White House. It seems to me so crazy that she was a vice presidential nominee. Once again America has dodged a bullet. So scary… how close we came to inviting Ms. Palin into the White House! It shows us all how terribly close charisma can take us to the edge of dominance, prejudice and terror. I remind myself if we do not stay awake, the world can turn upside down in a second. Documentary 2011 NR 1hr 31m. To see the truth of this portrayal in action during the McCain presidential campaign, also see the docudrama Game Change.
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