Famous documentary filmmaker Errol Morris spoke about his most recent film American Dharma – a portrait of former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon – at a press conference Wednesday at the Venice Film Festival.
When Morris interviewed Bannon for American Dharma, he likened him to Satan and was surprised when the former executive chairman of Breitbart News “embraced” the idea, the Associated Press reports.
“My wife had mentioned to me that, you know, ‘Bannon is a little bit like Lucifer in Paradise Lost, and I mentioned this to him. I said, ‘You know, that Lucifer character — aka Satan — reminds me of you!’ I think that’s learning something, because he embraces the idea.”
Based on Morris’ interview with Bannon, American Dharma is, according to AP, a documentary in which the filmmaker questions President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist about his influences, beliefs, and feelings about the president.
The film explores the relationship between the two men but also dives deep into Bannon, and Trump’s “extraordinary” ability of getting attention from the media.
In February 2017, Vox wrote about “President Bannon,” an article about what was at the time a popular narrative among political observers: The theory that Steve Bannon, the shadow president, is pulling the strings, effectively running the country instead of Trump.
Time magazine put Bannon on a cover, dubbing him “The Great Manipulator.” According to Vox, Trump’s then-chief strategist was considered by many to be the architect of Trump’s domestic and foreign policy.
But, the narrative fell apart as soon as Bannon left the White House. In August 2017, as the New York Times reported, Trump and Bannon parted ways.
Still, as previously reported by the Inquisitr, Bannon remained faithful to Trump, defending him from mega-influential conservative donors the Koch Brothers.
Bannon’s proximity to Trump has been widely criticized, mostly because of Bannon’s ties to white nationalism. For instance, BuzzFeed News credited Bannon, who was initially appointed chief executive of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and went on to become the president’s chief strategist, for “smuggling white nationalism into the mainstream.”
According to BuzzFeed’s reportage, which is based on leaked emails and conversations between Bannon and Breitbart journalists, the outlet helped sweep Donald Trump to power, reigniting white nationalism and inspiring far-right groups across the country.
Leaked emails show, according to BuzzFeed, how Bannon transformed the controversial far-right journalist Milo Yiannopoulos into a media star capable of channeling and fueling the American far-right’s reactionary anger, turning Breitbart into the ultimate platform for the alt-right.
Bannon’s notoriety, therefore, is not worthy of a platform, according to journalists gathered at today’s Venice Film Festival press conference with Errol Morris. Morris said he “struggled” with the idea of giving Bannon a platform, the Associated Press noted.
“If you’re trying to tell me that this is evil or this is bad or this is pernicious or this is destructive, you should be scared…you’ll learn nothing because you don’t want to learn anything…even if I did nothing, I tried.”
Above all, the enthusiasm with which Bannon has embraced being likened to Satan seems to have left a strong impression on the filmmaker, who told reporters the following.
“How many characters have embraced the idea that they might be Satan? I can’t think of any, except for one: Steve Bannon. He loved the idea.”
According to the Associated Press, the star of American Dharma, Steve Bannon, did not appear as part of the official delegation at the film’s premiere.