Airdate: American Dharma

Documentary streaming platform iwonder next month screens American Dharma, an examination of alt-right figurehead and former Donald Trump Chief Strategist, Steven Bannon.

This includes Bannon going head-to-head with filmmaker Errol Morris (The Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line) in a no-holds barred interview.

iwonder Head of Content, Alexandra Fox-Hughes, says of the film: “A master of engaging with eccentric and enigmatic authority figures, Errol Morris’s timely confrontation with Steve Bannon offers a fascinating insight into the psyche of one of the most controversial and influential figures in recent US political history. While Morris expertly calls out the flaws and failings in Bannon’s attempts to justify his much-maligned views of the world, the conversation unfolds as a far more complex encounter between subject and interviewer, leaving the viewer to draw their own conclusions on the topics discussed.”

Currently awaiting trial for fraud and money laundering in relation to his alleged role siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from the “We Build The Wall” Mexican border project, Steve Bannon’s hard-line views have made him a divisive figure in media and politics for years.

A former investment banker turned film and documentary maker, in 2012 he took the helm of the populist, and combative right-wing US media outlet, Breitbart news, following the death of friend and founder, Andrew Breitbart.

With the site serving as a source of ardent support for Donald Trump throughout his Presidential campaign, in August 2016 Trump appointed Bannon as his campaign CEO, empowering him to play a pivotal role in the future President’s surprise rise to power.

Having stepped into the post of Chief Strategist for the new administration, it proved to be a short-lived position, as Bannon’s relationship with the President quickly soured. By August 2017 Bannon’s exit from the White House was confirmed, followed not long afterwards by his departure from Breitbart News.

Unfazed, Bannon continued to find outlets for his hard-line populist views through various media outlets and support for the privately funded effort to help build Trump’s Mexico border wall, leading to his arrest in August 2020.

In a wide-ranging interview, American Dharma sees seasoned interrogator Errol Morris press Bannon to justify his ideologies, creating a suspenseful showdown between one man confident of his cause, and another disturbed and unsettled by it.

With the US Election looming, Bannon’s views on US politics and society expressed throughout the film may prove to be as telling today as they were in 2016. As social tensions continue to grip America, brought into focus by the Black Lives Matter Movement and magnified by the strain of COVID-19, could Bannon’s prediction in American Dharma of a looming revolution in the US be closer than even he could have imagined?

Thursday 1st October on iwonder.

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