Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story
- The Film:4.5
"a cautionary tale to rival that of Icarus"
While not a household name like his protégé (Karl Rove) or his advisees (Ronald Reagan, George Bush), Republican strategist Lee Atwater was the man perhaps most responsible for the conservative revolution that has held the United States to the Republican Party's dogma for most of the past thirty years. An ambitious, disarmingly charming and chillingly cynical Southern-boy-done-good, Atwater rose through the Right with brutal efficiency, neither believing nor respecting Republican policy, his name eventually becoming synonymous with dirty tricks and mudslinging. Nearly singlehandedly, he elevated the likes of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush to enormous power, and became personally close to the Bush dynasty's prodigal son, George W.
This doco is called Boogie Man for a reason: until his physical and spiritual health bottomed out as he neared his death in 1991, Atwater fulfilled all of the potential "pure evil" incumbent in his chosen profession, openly advocating race baiting, floating incendiary lies, and engaging in the ugliest kinds of backroom politician sales. His is both a cautionary tale to rival that of Icarus, and a legitimately antiheroic yarn. Director Stefan Forbes finely constructs the film with a perfectly scaled sense of impressed bewilderment and outrage that such a man could exist.