Nick Broomfield on Sarah Palin: "Charming" "Feud-Like Vindictiveness"

by Anthony Kaufman
September 8, 2011 4:08 AM
8 Comments
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In my WSJ.com interview with Nick Broomfield, the veteran British documentary filmmaker spoke candidly about his latest project, "Sarah Palin - You Betcha," which he revealed to me takes its name from the former Vice Presidential candidate agreeing to an interview with the director. "You betcha, I will," she said, according to Broomfield. But she didn't, of course.

Speaking with his trademark dry wit, Broomfield tried to remain objective in our conversation, claiming that the film was never meant to "bury" the former Alaskan governor, but give an honest portrayal of her. “That was why we went,” explained the filmmaker: “To get an insider’s portrait; we think we approached it with an open mind. I think you get a fairly complicated portrait of her.”

Broomfield described Palin “as someone who is very charming and engaging," but also someone who "turns against the very people who have done the most to promote her career. I was surprised at the level that people spoke of her need for an enemy. That was the most consistent thing: her feud-like vindictiveness against those who worked with her.”

Broomfield also offered a few jibes about his trip to Wasilla. "An indication of how strange it was is that I imagined it would be easy to rent a house in Wasilla in the winter," he told me. "But because it’s the meth capital of Alaska, it was extremely difficult to rent a house because they’re normally rented out by drug dealers. That prepared for me how strange adventure it would be to be there for three months."

Broomfield and I also discussed whether Palin will actually run for President.

“I think she’s frightened of being accountable; I think she’s frightened of the kind of scrutiny that she will have to face up to, and at the same time, she needs the spotlight and it’s hard to know what she would do if she didn’t run,” he said. “But I kind of think she won’t.”

Capitalizing on the film’s Toronto premiere and the gossip around the GOP primary candidates, “Sarah Palin ­ You Betcha” will be released by Freestyle Releasing in New York and Los Angeles on September 30, with other cities to follow.

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8 Comments

  • Tawny Jones | September 9, 2011 10:46 AMReply

    Nick Broomfield? Never heard of him. His sappy little Sarah-bashing screed will last in theaters for about at long as a Kate Gosselin camping trip.

  • Pete | September 9, 2011 7:21 AMReply

    Hey Viper1 you don't seem to grasp the fact that Alaska state regulations require public officials to make public records available to the public within 10 days in most cases. Palin's emails are public record, she was required by law to make those emails available to the public. She delayed the release of those emails more than fifteen times over a period of more than two years. She also tried to hide information by transferring some email off of the government server to her private yahoo account. She proved to the world she was just as shady as the rest of the corrupt politicians that came before her!

  • Sally | September 9, 2011 5:14 AMReply

    Oh, she's afraid, all right. Think, Viper. When has she given an interview to a real journalist in three years? When has she answered any questions that she didn't have in advance? Who wrote her books? Who writes her Facebook rants? Not Sarah. She hides behind media, she uses the press to her advantage, and she has become a member of the elite, multimillionaire class while proclaiming hatred for same.
    Yes, people are trying to vet her. She thinks she, a community college major, is qualified to lead us out of the economic abyss and into war. I have no doubt that she would send nukes out for the first time in our history. I have no doubt she would ignore Congress and whatever advisors she cobbles together, to keep the wars going indefinitely, as well as adding new enemies to the list.
    Remember that the ethics issues in AK did not come from Obama, as she claims, but from the GOP. And she was not vindicated, as she claims. And on the ones she was 'cleared,' it was by the three person Alaska Ethics Board, which she nominated.
    But keep being a loyal follower. She appreciates your support, but your cash more.

  • Skagway Sally | September 9, 2011 2:42 AMReply

    Viper, if you think Sarah is not afraid of scrutiny, then you do not know her at all. Its clear you have read mostly propaganda about Mrs Paln.
    She is hardly the most criticized politician. She just constantly blames the media and makes a huge deal about it. She is the most thin skinned public figure I have ever seen. Please do some objective reading about her. Also Broomfield is not a hack. Sarah is a complete fraud who has stolen from her state and her supporters. Finally the media is exposing the real Sarah. The one her fans love is a fake image. I used to be a fan. No longer.

  • ajweishar | September 9, 2011 2:08 AMReply

    This film, and the book being released this month that analyzes the pregnancy and trip from Texas to Alaska, should solidify Palin's transition from politician to celebrity. If you understand the nomination process, she obviously is not running for President. She is not on any ballot in the state primaries, has no Presidential campaign staff, and no funding to support a run. In addition, she has no support in any of her home states, Alaska, Arizona, or California. If the Tea Party and her supporters want to retain any political influence, they need to find another candidate. (Disclaimer: I have no party affiliations.)

  • grammy11 | September 9, 2011 2:06 AMReply

    Viper1, In the history of American politics there has never been such an ignorant, actually stupid person. She almost became the second most important person in American government and people wonder why she wasn't vetted so they continue to vet her 3 years later. You cannot compare her to anyone you mentioned. We all knew all about Nixon and Clinton but no one ever heard of her until Mccain announced her. Funny but 3 years down the road and we are still learning more about her.

  • Viper1 | September 8, 2011 8:47 AMReply

    "I think she’s frightened of the kind of scrutiny that she will have to face up to... ."

    So much for this guy's credibility. He might have a case in purporting that Sarah Palin has a mean streak she cleverlydisguises but his suggestion Palin would not jump into the race for fear ofbeing scrutinized doesn't pass the laugh test.

    Since 1973, I have only witnessed two other politicians be the target of such relentless investigation: Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. Sarah Palin has had
    her daughter's boyfriend be the subject of a Vanity Fair hit piece, John McCain's daughter taking shots at her from the tall grass, in-laws, former staffers, and after being made McCain's choice investigators and bloggers zeroed in on her pregnancy.

    Is Nick Broomfield aware of any other governors, senators, congressman or dogcatchers who had their emails made public?

    This guy is just another hack looking to make a few bucks by filling a new bottle with cheap, old wine.

  • Brandt Hardin | September 8, 2011 6:22 AMReply

    Whataya know? Some unbiased coverage of Palin! I hope this guy has us in for some real laughs! In the meantime, you can get a real juicy look at some parts of her you won’t see in the film on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/06/ecstasy-of-sarah-palin_15.html

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