As Harvey Milk famously said, “Politics is theater,” and that sentiment is taken to literal extremes in Citizen Weiner.
A Spoof – or Did It Really Happen?
Is Citizen Weiner a spoof — or did it really happen? That’s the puzzle presented in Daniel Robbins’ film documenting Zack Weiner’s run for City Council in New York’s District 6 back in the days of COVID.
Weiner is an actor who lives in New York’s Upper West Side. When COVID-19 hit and shut the entertainment industry down, he needed something to do, so he decided to run for City Council while simultaneously making a film about it. He is surrounded by friends who are eager to take part and assume roles in his campaign.
The result is Citizen Weiner, a delightfully warmhearted and frequently hilarious documentary about his experience.
Passionate About Winning
But if you Google Zack and District 6, you’ll see that he actually did run. Even facing the district’s lioness, Gale Brewer, who’s served forever and whose name is on all the street signs, he didn’t back down. Weiner becomes intensely passionate about winning.
When a sinister, anonymous tweet containing a poisonous link to a NSFW video of his private life is sent out, threatening to send his campaign into a tailspin, his team manages to turn it around and make it a positive.
Those who love political parodies will dig this film. And those who root for the underdog will also love it. It’ll be fun to see how far Zack goes with his political career, if he does.
Reviewed for Slamdance 2024 (world premiere). It screens Sunday, Jan. 21 at 12:30 p.m. and Monday, Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the LUMIX Theater @ Yarrow Hotel. More information can be found on the Slamdance website.