Review: 'Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story'

Documentary gives even-handed portrait of the man responsible for the toxicity of political campaigns.

Interpositive Media
Forbes with Sam Donaldson in a documentary still from the film, Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story.

With charges of negative advertising and dirty campaigning heating up the presidential race, the time couldn't be more appropriate for a documentary about the late Lee Atwater, the maestro of Machiavellian politicking and mentor of Karl Rove. Atwater cultivated his good ol' boy persona into the chairmanship of the Republican Party and was behind such showpieces as the Willie Horton ads for George H.W. Bush's 1988 campaign. Director Stefan Forbes interviews a slew of victims and beneficiaries of the Atwater attack machine and, in the process, gives us an even-handed portrait of a man who, as much as anybody, bears responsibility for the toxicity of high stakes political campaigning on both sides of the aisle. Grade: B (Unrated.)

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