“What is wrong with you?” – Lawrence O’Donnell, 2013 interview with Anthony Weiner
Whether or not you follow American politics, you’ve probably heard of Anthony Weiner, the unfortunately-named former Congressman whose career and subsequent mayoral campaign was derailed by a string of sexting revelations. This year’s documentary Weiner, briskly directed by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, centres on the man beyond the bulging underwear.
What is wrong with him? He’s a politician. He craves attention: good (the cheers of New York’s working class), bad (a string of devastating television appearances in the wake of his scandal) …and naughty.
Kriegman and Steinberg gradually reveal that the same impulses that motivate him to fight for public office drive his unpalatable social media habits – and his inexplicable choice to participate in this documentary. He’s a passionate schmuck, desperate to make a human connection, to be loved by the anonymous masses – whether at the poll booth or over Facebook messenger. Thankfully there are politicians out here with a greater sense of themselves: like Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, who wisely dodges both the scandal spotlight and the documentary cameras throughout.