The distributor of the Sarah Palin biopic “The Undefeated” is expected to announce details of a wider run after a 10-city opening over the weekend…
“Incredible. … Inspiring” was how viewer Casey Cunningham described the film after the sold-out 7 p.m. showing at the AMC Barrett Commons in Kennesaw. Groups were organized via social media to support the opening, with some attendees driving from neighboring states.
The auditorium was packed with Palin enthusiasts who frequently applauded lines the former Alaska governor delivered on screen, giving the screening the feel of a political rally. Further contributing to that atmosphere was that many attendees wore buttons supporting Palin as well as an entrepreneurial moviegoer hawking anti-President Obama T-shirts….
“I did not make this film for Palinistas,” Bannon insisted to CNN. He said that he believes it can appeal to moderates and liberals, and recast Palin’s image for them….
As an entertaining and motivational piece for a right-of-center audience, the film seemed effective.
Audience members said they were pleased with the film. And while they were already positively disposed toward Palin, many said it had deepened their appreciation of her.
Carolyn Garcia of Kennesaw said, “I think that it was motivational, and I think that it was portraying Sarah in the light that most people don’t know.” She said that it showed “who Sarah really is, and I wanted to stand up and cheer because she’s the type of woman that a lot of us strive to be and what a lot of us want our daughters to be.”
Sahar Hekmati picked up on the long portions of the movie comparing Palin to one of her heroes.
“I think she’ll be the modern-day Ronald Reagan, that’s what I got from it.”
Some parents brought their children, like 16-year-old Madeleine Mcaulay, who drove with her mother from North Carolina to see the film. She was already familiar with Palin’s life, having read both of her books, but she says the movie still helped her “comprehend the existence of her career in Alaska as mayor and governor and all the attacks she experienced, even at that local level.”
Bannon summed up his aim for the film: “The audience is really a middle American audience that knows her only as ‘Caribou Barbie.’ I think I’ve driven a stake through the heart of ‘Caribou Barbie.’ I think if enough people see this, they’ll agree with me.”
And to critics who say the title of the film is not appropriate for someone who’s most famous as a losing political candidate, Bannon says “The Undefeated” is “really about the values she manifests — frontier values of tenacity, grit and can-do attitude. That’s what’s undefeated in her.”
At the opening, Bannon said “there’s never really been a conservative documentary released in the multiplex against competition like ‘Harry Potter.’ I think AMC, the theater owners, just want to see if this film can find its audience.”