Weiner Movie Review
Anthony Weiner likes his weiner. A lot. If you’re a guy, you probably do, too, but hopefully not enough to take multiple pictures of it and send them to various young women. Or maybe you do. Dick pics are all the rage these days, after all. But even if you do send dick pics (why, oh why, does that actually work???), you probably aren’t married to a Hillary Clinton aide or a popular Congressman.
Anthony Weiner was both those things and more: he was a married Congressman who liked to send dick pics to young women.
The documentary Weiner chronicles Weiner’s fall from his grace and his attempt at a comeback, which goes limp when a second sexting scandal ensues. An hour and a half long, Weiner is a tight, fast-paced film that thrusts you behind the scenes and into the shoes (and pants) of the troubled politician.
Filmmakers Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg aren’t as obsessed with Weiner’s scandal as I clearly am; they offer a fairly unbiased and non-judgemental look at the man, painting him as an ambitious, high intensity and argumentative individual with some serious character flaws. The documentary serves as not just an exploration of Weiner but of how a major mayoral campaign operates and reacts when shit--or in this case, love juice, hits the fan.
Sadly, Weiner fails to answer the one question I want to know: why? Why did he do it? And why did he do it even after he’d been caught? Weiner is clearly a smart person who loves the public limelight, but someone who willingly does what he did has to have some psychological or restraint issues, right? The film also doesn’t fully address why his wife, Huma Abedin, repeatedly chooses to stand by his side.
Still, Weiner is a well made and interesting documentary. It probably doesn’t help the man’s case in the way he intended (after all, I doubt he was expecting a second scandal to hit while cameras were following him around), but it helps us understand the man, at least a little.
Weiner was screened at the 2016 Seattle International Film Festivial (SIFF).
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.