‘Weiner’ Walks Line Between ‘Political Farce and Personal Tragedy’

Documentary on former Rep. Anthony Weiner opens in D.C. later this month

"Weiner" takes viewers inside the workings of his failed campaign for New York mayor. (Photo courtesy of "Weiner")
"Weiner" takes viewers inside the workings of his failed campaign for New York mayor. (Photo courtesy of "Weiner")
Posted May 10, 2016 at 5:00am

A new film opening in Washington May 27 documents the self-inflicted downfall of former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner as he runs for mayor of New York in 2013.  

“As the media descends and dissects his every move, Weiner desperately tries to forge ahead, but the increasing pressure and crippling 24-hour news coverage halt his political aspirations,” the film’s description reads.  

The 100-minute, R-rated documentary, “Weiner,” focuses on his race for mayor of New York two years after his “sexting scandal” and “humiliating resignation” from Congress.  

He represented a congressional district in New York made up of neighborhoods in southern Brooklyn and Queens from 1999 to 2011, and never received less than 59 percent of the vote.  

And, of course, the film touts that Weiner is married, and has been since 2010, to Hillary Clinton adviser Huma Abedin.  

Said to have “unprecedented” access to the former congressman, his family and his mayoral campaign team, the film is an all-access look. Brooklyn-based Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg directed, produced and wrote the screenplay.  

“Most of the time, I don’t know why they’re filming me,” Weiner says in the film’s trailer  while sitting on a bike.  

“The punch line is true about me, I did the dumb thing,” Weiner says in the trailer, during what looks like a one-on-one interview with the filmmakers.  

The film takes viewers inside his campaign headquarters, into a car with aides, on phone calls and into news conferences. And it shows the moment when Weiner realizes he isn’t going to win.  

Weiner ended his campaign early and finished out of the running in the September primary with less than 5 percent of the vote.  

“’Weiner’ walks the line between political farce and personal tragedy as it plunges through an increasingly baffling political campaign with unflinching clarity, humor, and pathos,” the description concludes.  

The film was awarded the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for documentaries from Sundance.  

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