[HBO] HD. A behind-the-scenes documentary following members of the rebellious Freedom Caucus as they navigate friends and foes from both parties.
User Reviews: "The Swamp" (2020 release; 114 min.) is a documentary about Trump’s boasting in the 2016 presidential elections that he’d come to Washington DC and "drain the swamp". Now 4 years later, this film looks at what has become of that claim. As the movie opens, we get to know Matt Gaetz, Republican Congressman from Pensacola, FL. He literally lives in the US Congress in a closet-sized room, and is getting ready for his morning interview on Fox News, while we hear TV clips that "Congress is less popular than a colonoscopy". It is early 2019, and the Democrats have just taken over the US House of Representatives. We are also introduced to Republican Congressman Thomas Massie from Kentucky ("Darth Vader was Paul Ryan, now it is Nancy Pelosie"), and Republican Congressman Ken Buck from Colorado, and founding member of the Freedom Caucus. Last but not least we are introduced to Harvard Law Professor Larry Lessig, who explains how erstwhile Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich "destroyed" the US Congress by making everything dependent upon major financial contributions from the "special interests" a/k/a the lobbyists. At this point we are 10 min. into the movie.
Couple of comments: this is the latest documentary from writers-directors Daniel DiMauro and Morgan Pehmoe ("Get Me Roger Stone"). Here they are granted quasi unfettered access for a whole year to several US Congressmen to get a look at what has become of Trump’s claim that he’d "drain the swamp" once in power. It is of course fascinating to get a look behind the curtain as to how our Congressmen go about their business. And it ain’t a pretty sight. At first impression, Gaetz appears to give a fresh perspective on what being a US Congressman is all about. Alas, that first impression disappears quickly when it becomes clear that he is simply a mouthpiece and enabler for Trump. When the Democrats pass an anti-corruption bill (HR 1), which from all Gaetz is saying about getting rid of corporate money and the special interests he clearly should support, he nevertheless votes against it, based on lame excuses. And what he most relishes, it turns out, are his late evening telephone calls with Trump, where both men shower each other with compliments on how "great" each other is. But "draining the swamp"? Nothing could be further from the truth, as nothing has changed whatsoever and "special interests" now more than ever have a stranglehold on US Congress. And Gaetz is nothing but a lap dog for the xenophobe/racist/bigot/bully/narcissist/divider/liar-in-chief whose inept and incompetent presidency will come to a crashing end in less than 3 months. Kudos to the documentary makers, who spent a whole year filming these events.
"The Swamp" premiered on HBO this week, and is now available on HBO On Demand, Amazon Instant Video and other streaming services. This documentary is ideal viewing for political junkies (and you know who you are!) from both sides of the aisle, and watch how yet another Trump claim is exposed to be nothing more than a hollow campaign promise. But don’t take my word for it of course. I’d readily encourage you to check this out, and draw your own conclusion.