The Undefeated

The Undefeated poster

Surely no one was more disappointed by Sarah Palin’s absence from the 2012 presidential race than Stephen K. Bannon, the director of this two-hour campaign commercial.

The Undefeated is a chore. With “tell, don’t show” as its storytelling mantra, it chronicles Palin’s public works in her own words (using excerpts from her audiobook) and the words of the people who helped her. And there are so, so many words, all of them black or white, alternately offering effusive praise of the film’s beatific subject or pouting condemnation of the haters who wanna bring her down (actually described on several occasions by one interviewee as “eunuchs”). With so much one-note rhetoric flying around, visual interest is desperately needed to keep it all from turning to mush, but when Bannon runs out of archival video, he unleashes an avalanche of stock footage that would make Ed Wood wince. Half or more of the film’s screen time is devoted to cheeseball images of money being flushed down the toilet and people being angry about, well, something.

For all the howling the Tea Party crowd does about socialism, you’d think by now they would have picked up some pointers on one thing socialists did really well: propaganda.

This piece originally appeared on Letterboxd.
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