Thursday, September 15, 2011

TIFF 2011: "Sarah Palin - You Betcha" Doc Gets Our Approval Rating

It's an interesting time for Sarah Palin.

While everyone eagerly awaits her decision to enter the 2012 Republican Presidential race, a revealing tell-all book entitled "The Rogue - Searching for the Real Sarah Palin" by political author Joe Mcginniss will be released next week.  In his book, Mcginniss claims that Palin had an interracial affair with basketball player Glen Rice in 1987, used cocaine with her husband Todd and had an extra-marital affair that lasted 6 months with her husband's business partner.

To add to Palin's political woes, a new documentary called Sarah Palin - You Betcha by filmmakers Nick Broomfield (Biggie & Tupac, Kurt & Courtney) and Joan Churchill (Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer) will also be released this fall.  And like "The Rogue", the film promises to uncover the real Sarah Palin, whom her neighbours and former aides describe as ruthless and frightening.

[Pictured: Directors: Joan Churchill & Nick Broomfield]

Donning his trademark headphones and carrying his clunky sound gear, Broomfield practically goes door to door in Palin's hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, looking for anyone to share their memories of the political phenom.  First starting with Palin's parents, we learn that she was a gifted and ambitious child who constantly challenged herself in school and her career.  It's not hard to be moved by the incredible pride and joy that they feel for their daughter.  But when Broomfield interviews former Palin friends and colleagues, the Palin camp begin to worry that the film is a "hit piece" in disguise.  Suddenly, the entire town becomes divided about what they can or not say to the documentary crew.  It's as if the Palins are the Corleone family of Wasilla and you don't cross the family if you know what's good for you.

Sarah Palin - You Betcha is a fascinating film, but a lot of that has to do with Palin being a fascinating personality.  Most of what the film highlights are her already-documented quirks and transgressions (including: Palin was prayed upon by a witchdoctor on camera, she left the Wasilla Mayor's office with a record 22 million deficit and her first priority as Governor was firing her ex-brother-in-law from the police force); however, hearing the personal accounts of obsession, lies and deception from her former pastor, ex-brother in-law and mentor are particularly engaging.

If Palin does decide to run for President, it's hard to know how damning the film will be to her political career.  After all, Bush was re-elected after Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.

Nonetheless, Sarah Palin - You Betcha is a bi-partisan winner.


  1. Did Palin sued the newspapers that covered her alleged extra-marital affair? I can't remember if she did.

  2. I haven't heard of any litigation against the author of her unauthorized biography, which is quite interesting considering damning accusations.