The Brink

Director: Alison Klayman

Institute History


Around the world, far-right leaders and political movements are gaining ground—from Trump to Duterte to Le Pen to Bolsonaro. To what extent does disseminating their stories create a platform for their views? The Brink raises this question as it follows Steve Bannon, after he has left his perch as Trump’s White House chief strategist and as he continues galvanizing what he calls the “global populist movement.”

Filmmaker Alison Klayman’s deft and vigilant fly-on-the-wall camera records everything, from hotel-room meetings with Trump-supporting midterm candidates looking to kiss Bannon’s ring, to intimate convenings with far-right leaders from France, Hungary, Belgium, and Britain, all plotting their next move. When journalists arrive, we witness their attempts to puncture Bannon’s facade of disarming charm and challenge his beliefs. What is most fascinating—and instructive—is the way Klayman subtly reveals patterns in Bannon’s rhetoric and behavior, searingly capturing the way he states one thing but means something entirely different. As we watch him operate, we slowly learn how to deconstruct his methods, which have proven central to his foothold in political life—chilling as they are.

Screening Details

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