Directed by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg
In “Weiner”, we observe the controversial former Congressman, Anthony Weiner, being followed (almost) everywhere by the pair of documentarians Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, during his bumpy campaign for Mayor of New York City in 2013.
However, the film initiates its accounts back in 2011, when the populist Democrat decided to resign due to a sexting scandal.
Apparently, Weiner used Twitter to send sensitive pictures of himself to a 21-year-old woman from Seattle, falling in public disgrace.
Believing or not, the title character, who was known in the political world for his incendiary speeches and resonant ideas on behalf of the people, didn’t lose his strength and charisma, managing to revert the situation in his favor with the help of his wife Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s right-hand since the 2008 presidential campaign.
Not only Huma, but also America seemed ready to forgive Weiner and give him a second chance. Thus, in 2013, he decided to run for Mayor.
Sadly, we didn’t have to wait much time to see him involved in another scandal of the same type when new explicit photographs were leaked by the gossip website The Dirty. Weiner had been using the alias Carlos Danger to send the hot material to a 22-year-old woman from Indiana.
During the coverage of this particular period, the filmmakers captured with accuracy the agonizing moments lived by Huma, visibly uncomfortable with the situation. She had to react fast, reiterating her 100% support to an admittedly unfaithful husband, so he could continue in the mayoral race.
In addition, it became quite clear that Sidney Leather, the woman Weiner sexted, was looking for media attention, growing into one of his main antagonists during a crucial phase of his campaign.
We still have the opportunity to see an agitated verbal confrontation between the polemic candidate and a judgmental Jew at a coffee shop.
There’s no doubt that, in this documentary, the ‘Weiner’ topic is more interesting than the filmmaking. If made today, we likely would have a footage extension of at least 30 minutes, taking into account a third scandal that led to the announcement of Weiner and Huma separation.
A good point here is counterpointing the weight of a politician’s private life versus the valid ideas turned into concrete plans that envision to make people’s lives better.