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The Power of Palin.

Filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon recently previewed his newest film, The Undefeated, a documentary about Sarah Palin, conservative superstar and scourge of the left. Bannon (along with the fine folks at Citizens United) also made Fire From The Heartland, a movie that chronicles the contributions women have made to the conservative movement. The subject matter of his new film is sure to start a firestorm that will spread across the current political landscape.

The style of The Undefeated is similar to Fire From the Heartland, with news footage and personal photographs and video being interspersed with stock photos and vignettes. Gov. Palin herself is not interviewed for the film, but snippets from the audio version of her autobiography, Going Rogue, serve to clarify and expound upon several key developments in her life and time in the public eye. Many of her Alaskan colleagues and friends are interviewed, giving the viewer a better idea of what the pre-2008 Sarah Palin was like. And, as it turns out, she’s quite like the Sarah Palin of 2011: smart, determined and unpredictable.

The Undefeated is divided into three parts. Act I details Sarah Palin’s early life and her first forays into politics. We travel along with her as she runs for mayor of Wasilla and as she fights the GOP establishment in Alaska to become governor. The scene of her announcing her gubernatorial campaign from her kitchen in Wasilla is one that any grassroots activist can appreciate. Similarly, there is a scene relating how she relocated her inauguration from the traditional Juneau to the more sentimental choice of Fairbanks, indicating that she has been going rogue for a long while now.

Act II goes into great detail about the struggles and accomplishments of the Palin Administration. Turns out, Gov. Palin was (and is) well versed in energy and oil, budgets (she was not afraid to wield the line item veto!), and ethics reform. Special attention is paid to Palin’s role in facilitating the AGIA license, which brought a long-awaited gas pipeline to fruition. This portion of the film was heavy on the oil and gas issues, underscoring their importance to Alaska and Palin’s mastery of their intricacies.

Act III starts in August of 2008, the point where many of us came to know Sarah Palin as she joined John McCain on the GOP ticket. This is also the point in the film where we get to see the left dissolve into witlessness and vulgarity when faced with the possibility of a conservative woman becoming vice president. [Note: There will likely be two different versions of the movie released — one that is family-oriented and one that contains the obscene rhetoric of the left in all its glory.] It’s sad that revisiting these images is no longer shocking, as we have come to expect this of the left, particularly when it comes to their treatment of Sarah Palin and other prominent conservative women.

There is an interesting theory floated in this part of the film: The crowds that greeted Sarah Palin on the campaign trail in 2008 eventually morphed into the tea party movement of 2009. There is some merit to this observation, as certainly many an activist was born in the fall of 2008, including yours truly.

Another important facet of the third and final act is the coverage of Sarah Palin’s resignation as governor of Alaska in July of 2009. There has been much speculation about the reasons behind her decision and what, ultimately, will be the fallout. The Undefeated provides ample support for the idea that the seemingly endless barrage of junk ethic lawsuits filed against her left her no choice. Indeed, an underlying theme of the entire film is Sarah Palin’s devotion to Alaska, making the case that she resigned for the good of her beloved state. It may not have been the decision most politicians would have made, but Sarah Palin is most definitely not like most politicians.

The Undefeated will surely be a must-see for all Palin fans, who will enjoy reliving the events that brought her to national prominence.  Those who are not her biggest fans may be surprised at what they learn about the woman whose image the press has tried so hard to destroy (hint: she’s really, really normal). The media will, of course, dissect every second of the film looking for new ways to mock her, even as they zigzag around the country chasing her tour bus, hoping that she’ll stop to talk to them.

Love her or hate her, Sarah commands attention and leaves you guessing what she’ll do next. And that is the power of Palin.

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