Enemies: The President, Justice & The FBI (Jed Rothstein & Alex Gibney, 2018): USA

Film reviewed by Jackson Davis. Viewed at AFI Fest 2018.

Enemies is a 4-part series recounting past and current presidential administrations and their misuse of power during their scandals. I was presented the second part, detailing Ronald Reagan and the Iran-Contra scandal, and while it did its job in explaining just what the scandal entailed, it focused more on the people inside it, rather than the scandal itself.

The story that Gibney tells is more about the people and their misuse of their power and positions and their efforts to cover it up and protect those at the top. A large portion of this segment is on Oliver North, and his attempts to protect the president, before giving in to the investigation. Gibney uses this to make statements on accountability when laws are broken by those charged with upholding them.

The episode follows exactly how you would expect, with more of “here’s how what should’ve worked didn’t” kind of thing, that helps to put some of the more broad pieces of the scandal into perspective. The film however fails to show some opposing arguments to some if its claims, instead having only interviews from people with the same opinion. Granted, it’s hard be on the supporting side of a lot of this, but it would been a welcome change of pace and helped to show some of the opinions of the public during that time.

Nothing new or groundbreaking was presented, instead it’s an overview of a famous scandal of a past administration ahead of what we expect to be another scandal with the current administration.

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