2019 Sundance Docs in Focus: THE BRINK

Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

THE BRINK
Alison Klayman follows Steve Bannon’s right-wing barnstorming efforts after his departure from the White House.

Festival Section:
Documentary Premieres

Sundance Program Description:

Around the world, far-right leaders and political movements are gaining ground – from Trump to Duterte to Le Pen to Bolsonaro. To what extent does disseminating their stories create a platform for their views? THE BRINK raises this question as it follows Steve Bannon, after he has left his perch as Trump’s White House chief strategist and as he continues galvanizing what he calls the “global populist movement.”

Filmmaker Alison Klayman’s deft and vigilant fly-on-the-wall camera records everything, from hotel-room meetings with Trump-supporting midterm candidates looking to kiss Bannon’s ring, to intimate convenings with far-right leaders from France, Hungary, Belgium, and Britain, all plotting their next move. When journalists arrive, we witness their attempts to puncture Bannon’s facade of disarming charm and challenge his beliefs. What is most fascinating – and instructive – is the way Klayman subtly reveals patterns in Bannon’s rhetoric and behavior, searingly capturing the way he states one thing but means something entirely different. As we watch him operate, we slowly learn how to deconstruct his methods, which have proven central to his foothold in political life – chilling as they are.

Some Background:
Director/Producer:

  • Alison Klayman
    Past Sundance docs:

    ON HER SHOULDERS (2018, executive producer)
    HOOLIGAN SPARROW (2016, executive producer)
    AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY (2012)

    Klayman’s directorial debut, AI WEIWEI, picked up a special jury prize at Sundance and was shortlisted for the Academy Award.

Producer:

  • Marie Therese Guirgis
    Past Sundance docs:

    ON HER SHOULDERS
    AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY (2016)
    UNKNOWN WHITE MALE (2005)
    TARNATION (2003)

    Film industry veteran Guirgis is the head of production at Play/Action Films following several years as head of RatPac Documentary Films.

Executive Producers:

  • Adam Bardach
    Past Sundance docs:

    ON HER SHOULDERS
    AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY

    Bardach formerly was with RatPac Documentary Films.

  • RYOT’s Hayley Pappas and Matt Ippolito
    Past Sundance docs:

    ON HER SHOULDERS

    Pappas is the Emmy Award-winning head of RYOT Films, while Ippolito is its COO. They both also executive produced the 2019 Sundance World Cinema Documentary Competition title THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER and the fiction AR experience A JESTER’S TALE and co-produced the Sundance fiction VR experience DINNER PARTY (2018).

  • Bryn Mooser
    Past Sundance docs:

    ON HER SHOULDERS

    The Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning Mooser co-founded RYOT and recently left his position as CEO. He also executive produced THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER, A JESTER’S TALE, and DINNER PARTY.

Editors:

Why You Should Watch:
Klayman gains unprecedented access to the controversial alt-right icon and Trump advisor in this timely – and disturbing – vérité profile. Audiences outside of the festival will have a chance to watch the films in theatres via Magnolia Pictures sometime this Spring.

More Info:
For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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