New Watergate Documentary Has Parallels With Donald Trump
Several movie reviews are already calling attention to a new Watergate documentary for its parallels between Richard Nixon and current president Donald Trump, although the film never mentions Trump.
Political scandal and an “out of control” president are at the center of a new Watergate documentary and it’s not about Trump — although its parallels are clear.
Watergate premiered in select theaters on October 12, focusing on former president Richard Nixon and the infamous scandal involving abuses of power and obstruction of justice, which led to his resignation in 1974.
With a running time of over four hours, Oscar-winning director Charles Ferguson (Inside Job) has plenty of time to delve into the subject.
There are interviews with several key Watergate figures to provide a thorough glimpse into Richard Nixon’s flawed psyche.
Included in the documentary are reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, Dan Rather, Nixon White House aides John Dean and Pat Buchanan, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Elsberg, the late John McCain, and former members of the Senate Watergate Committee, such as Lowell Weicker.
Along with archival footage, the film also employs reenactments: Tony-award winning British actor Douglas Hodge portrays Nixon, depicting scenes such as taped Oval Office meetings of the former president.
Several reviews are already calling out the documentary’s parallels between Richard Nixon and current president Donald Trump, although the film never mentions Trump.
The opening credits include a full title card that reads: “Watergate: Or How We Learned to Stop an Out of Control President.”
The film also addresses the subject of Nixon blaming the media when he lost the election to John F. Kennedy, and calling for investigations into his enemies.
Director Ferguson (who also narrates the film) reportedly closes the film with a heavily implied reminder that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
Indeed, the director revealed in his press notes that he began this documentary four years ago as “a historical detective story,” only to recognize that the issues within were “urgently relevant.”
Ferguson’s previous documentaries addressed the Iraq War (No End in Sight) and the 2008 financial crisis (Inside Job), which won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Watergate will play in New York and Los Angeles beginning Oct. 12 and Oct. 19, respectively, before premiering on History Channel on Nov. 2.