Despite having to resign from his position in congress after posting lewd pictures to Twitter, Anthony Weiner still attempted to become mayor of New York City in 2013. Showtime’s fly-on-the-wall style documentary “Weiner” follows the politician during his mayoral campaign and gives the audience a glimpse into his life beyond the extensive media coverage. What makes this film so interesting is that you get to have an inside look at this man’s character. Not only does it affect the viewer that yet another portion of the sexting scandal came out on the campaign trail, but you see how this man’s selfish attitude affects his family, his staff, and the people of The Big Apple.
This movie was laughable. Not because it isn’t an excellent documentary, because it is, but because this sleazy democrat is self-assured in spite of what the whole world already knew about him when he decided to run for mayor. “Weiner” shows the candidate’s inability to give up as he runs down the streets in various parades hugging those who are not screaming profanities at him and shows many a time that he refused to back down from inquisitive reporters. While getting to see his wife Huma’s concealed misery leaves a horrible taste in your mouth, you cannot help but to stay invested as you watch this man refuse to come to terms with how he has ruined his career.
The hardest part of this documentary is watching Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin. This strong woman, and right-hand advisor to Hilary Clinton, learns time and time again that her husband has sent explicit texts and pictures to women and yet she never leaves. As time progresses, however, you see it wear on her more and more. The filmmakers focus heavily on the media’s coverage of Huma’s involvement on the campaign trail, but they did not have to. Anyone who sees clips of Anthony Weiner’s press conferences can see Abedin’s happy facade crack as she listens to him apologize again and again. Her husband is passionate about his city and never backs down from a challenge, but it’s heart-wrenching to watch her let those things keep her from taking their young son and leaving him to deal with the consequences of her actions.
Weiner is quite a character, which is what makes this so unusual. We also have a similar character in the race for president this year, making this look into Weiner’s personality all too relevant. We watch this man who claims to love his city get into screaming matches with citizens who disagree with him and give the finger to reporters who ask him about his negative personality traits. His aggressive nature is so compelling, and the fact that he continued to act out every time the public forgave him is something so incredibly hard to understand.
This is a documentary you can enjoy even if you do not follow politics. It is more of a study of one man’s character and how his decisions damper his dreams. It is always fun to watch someone who hurts those around him not succeed in life, but it is also fascinating to try to understand why they would do the things they do.