Everything keeps getting worse Rudy Giulani. On Monday, during the committee’s second hearing on January 6, a donald trump A campaign staffer says the former New York City mayor got drunk on election night in 2020 and pressured the president to lie to the American public about the results. Apparently he wasn’t just tipsy either: senior campaign adviser Jason Miller testified that Giuliani, who was acting as Trump’s personal attorney at the time, was “definitely drunk.”
This revelation marks a new low, not just for Giuliani but for a nation. How did we let a man who thinks it’s okay to shave in an airport restaurant get so close to our country’s highest office?
Jed Rothsteinis the new “documentary”, Rudy!which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival late last week, charts Giuliani’s astonishing transformation from the former top federal prosecutor who brought down New York’s mob bosses to a laughing stock. evening who had his lawyer’s license suspended last summer.
“What really fascinated me about Rudy is why is this guy so central to so many historic moments in our modern history?” says Rothstein (China’s turmoil and WeWork: or the making and destroying of a $47 billion unicorn) during a phone call with Vanity Room. “What can we understand about what drove it, what shaped it, what drives it and, in a broader sense, what does it say about us that we followed this type from ‘America’s Sheriff’ to ‘America’s Mayor’ to the guy who cleaned up Times Square to that hard right turn to that sad clown? What does that tell us about ourselves that that guy, through all these changes, remained so central to our collective narrative?”
Rothstein relies on interviews with a journalist Andrew Kirtzman, who wrote Rudy Giuliani: City Emperor; former adviser to Giuliani Ken Frydman; former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton; and retired detective Bo Dietl to flesh out its main character’s bizarre life story. Forensic psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee, MD, also offers chilling insight into what Giuliani’s decisions and comments likely did to our nation.
“She gave a really interesting and fresh perspective on the social impact of all the lies that Rudy undertook on behalf of Donald Trump following the November election,” Rothstein said. “I think understanding his actions through the lens of social psychiatry has been very, very instructive for me.”
Rothstein says he wanted his Giuliani project to “add something to our understanding of him” and not “just tell of his greatest hits.” The filmmaker initially fantasized about staging an opera dedicated to Giuliani, a nod to Giuliani’s long-standing love of the art form. (“I think it saved me a lot of money in psychiatric bills,” Giuliani says in a soundbite featured at the start of Rudy!). But staging an opera—summarizing Giuliani’s career in his love language, if you will—would have been too complicated and time-consuming.
Instead, Rothstein chose the musical route, collaborating with composers Jason Howland, Billy Jay Stein, and Will Bates to songs performed by Broadway talent throughout the documentary. (Hence its being described as a “musical doc.”) Talking to Rothstein, however, I’m beginning to think that Giuliani’s journey of extremes deserves an opera.
“Rudy has always been driven by a sense of justice. What changed was his definition of what was fair,” explains the filmmaker.
While researching the film, Rothstein was disturbed to learn the depth of Giuliani’s selfishness in the private sector while working for Trump. But in the eyes of the filmmaker, none of Giuliani’s shady affiliations carries the same weight as the pressure he exerted on Ukraine to investigate allegations about Joe Biden.
“It’s really awful for me to see this man, who was sort of the most heroic and famous person in the world during a period around 9/11, come to this point where it’s his legacy,” marvels the filmmaker. .
Asked if he was predicting a curtain call for the former mayor on the public stage, Rothstein is skeptical: “He pissed off a bunch of people to try to overthrow our republic. I think it’s pretty hard to get past that. »
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