Broomfield & Churchill: Sarah Palin. You Betcha

The style of British director Broomfield is well known from many of his films. He is in the picture, he is a character himself, the journalist looking for characters, and the truth, walking in and out of doors, very often as the upper class, well dressed British gentleman asking questions, very often without revealing his critical mission. It worked perfectly with ”The Leader, the Driver and the Driver’s Wife” from apartheid South Africa and with other films, where he is trying to get an interview with politicians and celebreties.

This is also the case with his newest film, on Sarah Palin, but he fails to get the interview, he wants, and the film fails for the same reason, as he has to use archive (mostly tv) material from her career that brings nothing new to the screen. Well, he gets talks with Palin’s father and with all the people that she has been using and betraying, but as you all the way through the film waits for the clever Broomfield to get close to Palin, you end up being disappointed and bored seeing scene after scene with the director about to fall on his ass up there on the icy roads of Alaska.

I saw the film on Danish Dokumania, a rerun yesterday morning, in a version where the image pretty often had a text coming up saying ”only for preview”. Ooooops! Embarrassing for DR2, Danish public broadcaster not to have checked copy before transmission!

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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