The Brink follows Trump strategist Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon in THE BRINK, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

The Brink takes a vérité approach in following ousted Trump strategist Steve Bannon in his attempts to unite far-right parties in Europe.

When Steve Bannon left his post after the Charlottesville incident, he decided to take his message on a global tour.  Unbeknownst to him, his approach of nationalism turns into an anti-globalist message while touring Europe.  Furthermore, this is a man who clearly has no idea what it means to dog-whistle anti-Semitism.  I’m glad that director Alison Klayman is able to capture these moments on camera.  I’m sorry but Bannon isn’t Jewish so he doesn’t get the right to say what is and isn’t anti-Semitism.  If you aren’t going to listen when Jewish people tell you what’s anti-Semitic, there’s nothing more that anyone can say.

Because Klayman’s documentary goes through Election Day, this film covers some major topics that hit in late October 2018.  There’s the mail bomb threats against many of Trump’s critics, including George Soros.  Klayman also chooses to also focus on the Tree of Life massacre and its aftermath.

Even though Bannon no longer has his post in the White House, he’s still spreading his message.  The same message that would see him lose his primary writing job.  This isn’t much of a surprise.  People could see this coming a mile away!  His main goal these days is to unite the far-right parties of Europe in the lead up to this May’s EU elections.  Don’t think people won’t listen to him because they will and people will give him the money to get this message out there.

One thing in particular that caught my eye was when the other Bannon documentary premiered at Venice, Bannon opted not to attend the premiere.  Instead, he was sitting in his hotel room taking meetings.  This feels like a blip on the radar when compared to Bannon’s invitation rescinded by the New Yorker Festival.

On the one hand, this film serves as nothing but a way to get Bannon’s message out there.  On the other hand, Klayman’s approach takes us behind the scenes in a way none of us could ever imagine.  So what if he doesn’t come off as the Darth Vader that many of us believe him to be?!?  I still can’t believe that the ousted strategist agreed to this film.  To be fair, he turned down requests by producer Marie Therese Guirgis three separate times.  Klayman is a one-woman operation here and I don’t envy her for being put in this position.  At the the same time, this particular style of filmmaking is the only way that The Brink gets made.  A one-on-one approach would not result in the same type of film.

Ultimately, The Brink is able to contribute to the political narrative at a moment in time when Facebook is finally taking action against white nationalism.

DIRECTOR:  Alison Klayman
FEATURING:  Steve Bannon

Magnolia Pictures opens The Brink in theaters on March 29, 2019 with an expansion to follow. Grade: 3.5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.