Doc­u­men­taries

New Zealand Listener - - ENTERTAINMENT - By FIONA RAE

There are ex­am­i­na­tions of two pow­er­ful Amer­i­can fig­ures this week, be­gin­ning with John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls (SoHo2, Sky 210, Satur­day, 8.30pm), an un­crit­i­cal film about the se­na­tor and war hero who un­leashed Sarah Palin on the world.

McCain was filmed not long be­fore his death in Au­gust and di­rec­tor Peter Kun­hardt (who pro­duced The News­pa­per­man: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee for HBO) puts this footage to­gether with a his­tory of his life, in­clud­ing his mil­i­tary ser­vice and his five years as a pris­oner of war in Viet­nam.

The doco paints McCain as a hero and a mav­er­ick who voted against the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion on mat­ters of prin­ci­ple, but gen­er­ally does not make any anal­y­sis of his po­lit­i­cal record.

The Clin­ton Af­fair (His­tory, Sky 073, Tues­day, 8.30pm) re­vis­its, in six episodes, the scan­dal that nearly led to Pres­i­dent

Bill Clin­ton’s im­peach­ment. Cen­tral to the doco are in­ter­views with Mon­ica

Lewin­sky, whose re­la­tion­ship with Clin­ton cre­ated a furore in 1998, and Paula Jones, who was su­ing Clin­ton for sex­ual ha­rass­ment.

For Lewin­sky, it seems it has taken 20 years and the #MeToo move­ment to be heard, writ­ing in Van­ity Fair, “power throws a pro­tec­tive cape around the shoul­ders of the man, and he dic­tates the spin by den­i­grat­ing the less pow­er­ful woman”.

John McCain: For Whomthe Bell Tolls, Satur­day

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