Great White North

This is not Sarah Palin’s version of Alaska. Primarily set in her home town of Wasilla, Sarah Palin: You Betcha! reveals a wintery non-paradise filled with backstabbing, petty squabbles and scientifically “creative” characters. It’s a Palin documentary not to be confused with The Unde-feated, the quasi-propagandistic film written and directed by Stephen K. Bannon. British filmmaker Nick Broomfield weaves together interviews with Palin detractors (it’s stated over and over that nobody pro-Palin will talk to him), footage of rallies, and his own failed attempts to get face time with Palin. And Broomfield, best known for his documentary on Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, is as much a personality in the film as Palin. One of the final scenes shows him getting escorted out by security at a rally. “If you’re in the mood for a nice jab at Ms. Palin, this will do the job,” says Keith Garcia, programming manager at the Denver FilmCenter.

While political junkies won’t find much new material, Broomfield makes this journey into American politics both fun and terrifying. From a commercial for a “Pray Away the Gay” event (backed by Palin’s church), to interviewees confessing that they’re scared of retaliation from Palin’s hard-core supporters (called the Flying Monkeys) for speaking out, to the suggestion that Palin became mayor of Wasilla by spreading rumors that her competitor, Joe Stein, was Jewish, the film often reveals more about her supporters than it does the Mama Grizzly herself.

Sarah Palin: You Betcha! opens tonight at the Denver FilmCenter. Tickets are $8 to $9.75. Check or call 303-595-3456 for showtimes.
Oct. 14-20, 2011


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