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The site reveals that Palin asked her close aide Rebecca Mansour to reach out to Bannon about creating a series of videos last November — shortly after Republicans swept elections, and Palin was credited with helping. Palin hoped the videos would answer questions about her decision to step down as governor and protect her legacy — clearing the way for a potential 2012 presidential campaign.
Bannon, however, decided to take the project one step further. He’d create a feature film on Palin, and put up the $1 million in financing himself.
The final result is a two-hour movie featuring interviews from Palin supporters, both residents of Alaska and conservative bloggers like Andrew Breitbart. Palin herself does not appear on camera to answer questions, but Real Clear Poltiics says she arranged interviews and access. Bannon also bought the audio rights to her memoir, Going Rogue, so that Palin’s voice narrates several scenes.
Bannon, who first gained the support of Palin after his Tea Party documentary Generation Zero broadcast on Fox News, intended to call it Take a Stand, which was Palin’s campaign slogan when she ran for governor in 2006. Instead, it became The Undefeated to make it sound more triumphant.
Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs banker and onetime naval officer, screened the film for Sarah and her husband, Todd, in Arizona last Wednesday, where they have reportedly bought a home. It premieres in Iowa in June. Bannon also plans to work with cable operators to offer the movie on VOD.
“This film is a call to action for a campaign like 1976: Reagan vs. the establishment,” Bannon told Real Clear Politics. “Let’s have a good old-fashioned brouhaha.”
Bannon will release two versions: one that is targeted to a general audience and will seek a PG-13 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America, and a second unedited one that features anti-Palin clips from Rosie O’Donnell, Matt Damon, Bill Maher, David Letterman, Howard Stern and Louis C.K.
It opens with Palin talking about her decision to get into public office after witnessing the devastating effects of the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989. Then, her Alaska backers speak about Palin’s legacy for the next hour, according to Real Clear Politics, which screened the film. It also includes never-before-seen archival footage that shows Palin’s rapid ascent in politics from a nearly-empty press conference in her kitchen announcing her intention to run for governor to her current days, jam-packed rallies.
The film leaves out some of Palin’s most notorious moments, such as her much-criticized interview with Katie Couric and the Troopergate controversy.
Palin is a big fan of the film, SarahPAC treasurer Tim Crawford tells Real Clear Politics. “The governor thought it was great,” Crawford said.
“I’m a huge fan of Steve’s work,” Mansour said in a statement to RCP on Tuesday. “His film on President Reagan, In the Face of Evil, is my favorite documentary, and his Generation Zero was a rallying cry for the Tea Party movement early on. I think his new film really captures the essence of Governor Palin’s stewardship of Alaska, and I think people will be really surprised by it. It shatters so many false stereotypes because it shows what she actually accomplished as governor. You can’t leave it thinking the same way about Sarah Palin.”
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