Oops, he did it again…there’s no sex scandal without a Weiner. Elyse Steinberg and Josh Kriegman’s documentary centers on the infamous Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner as he attempts to resurrect his reputation. In 2011, after a botched cover-up, Weiner came clean for sexting with women other than his wife Huma, and resigned from Congress. In 2013, he announced he would run for Mayor of New York City. Weiner follows that campaign. The funny documentary does not use talking heads besides its subject; instead, it follows around Weiner from press conference to press conference, peeking in on his home life and meetings with subordinates. Steinberg and Kriegman’s technique is so restrained that, when Kriegman asks Weiner how he feels about a recent flub, Weiner jokes that Kriegman is not being a good fly-on-the-wall. Indeed, this fly-on-the-wall technique helps us see politics as theater, watching as our hero—charismatic and passionate but tragically flawed—tries to scale the mountain of public relations. What we see is that Weiner’s notoriety was a double-edged sword: it attracted attention but of the wrong variety. For some time, Weiner used the attention to pivot the conversation. But for some time only. Because then the other weiner came into play. The rest is history.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White