Fair warning: This revealing expose’ is not for diehard supporters of Sarah Palin. For the damning bio-pic essentially paints the former governor of Alaska as less of a Mama Grizzly Bear than a power-hungry witch who goes to great lengths to crush her adversaries of any nature, political or personal.

Sarah Palin: You Betcha! is directed by Nick Broomfield, who also stars in the alternately humorous and eye-opening documentary. Like a British cross of Borat and Michael Moore, he crisscrossed Alaska, including his subject’s hometown of Wasilla, to sort the truth from fiction in terms of all the ugly rumors.

What he found was that most of the natives were reluctant to appear onscreen, ostensibly out of a fear of suffering reprisals for cooperating with his project. As a result, most of the folks who were willing to talk were those who had been so betrayed by Palin that they were not inclined to mend fences.

John Stein laments that in 1996, when he was then the incumbent mayor of Wasilla, he was stabbed in the back by his protégé Palin who not only declared her candidacy for his job but proceeded to run campaign ads calling to replace him with a Christian. So much for separation of church and state!

In another sequence, her ex-brother-in-law said that when Palin became governor at the top of her agenda was an effort to have him fired from the State Police Force because he was divorcing her sister. Others testify that this sort of vindictiveness was typical, as she exhibited an unusual interest in matters which affected her family. Meanwhile, she ostensibly ignored the business of government, often emailing and text-messaging instead of paying attention during official meetings and hearings.

As for Palin’s side of the story, the intrepid Broomfield is shown sticking a microphone in her face in public on several occasions. She is shown politely agreeing to a tete-a-tete at a more convenient time, but her office apparently never returned any of his calls to set up a meeting.

A hatchet job or an accurate portrait of a Machiavellian manipulator? That likely will depend on whether you lean to the left or to the right.

Excellent (4 stars)
Unrated
Running time: 91 minutes
Distributor: Freestyle Releasing

To see a trailer for Sarah Palin: You Betcha, visit: 
www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RwWXs2NvII

 

Kam Williams

Special to the AFRO