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Sarah Palin Sanctions “Joan of Arc” Doc to Counter HBO Biopic

Sarah Palin Sanctions "Joan of Arc" Doc to Counter HBO Biopic

An independent film about Sarah Palin is poised for front-line deployment in the battle for the 2012 election.

Real Clear Politics reported today that a two-hour, Palin-sanctioned documentary feature by conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon is set for release before the HBO’s Palin-John McCain biopic “Game Change,” which director Jay Roach began shooting last month, can make its broadcast premiere.

Titled “Undefeated,” the Palin documentary is described by RCP reporter Scott Conroy as positioning the would-be presidential candidate as “a Joan of Arc-like figure.”

RCP says “Undefeated” is slated to premiere in late June in Iowa and then hit New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada before opening in 50-100 markets nationwide. The film will seek a PG-13 rating, although an unrated edition may contain some anti-Palin language and imagery.

“This film is a call to action for a campaign like 1976: Reagan vs. the establishment,” Bannon told RCP.

According to Conroy, who screened an early cut of the doc:

“Divided into three acts, the film makes the case that despite the now cliched label, Palin was indeed a maverick who confronted the powerful forces lined up against her to achieve wide-ranging success in a short period of time,” he commented. “The second part of the film’s message is just as clear, if more subjective: that Sarah Palin is the only conservative leader who can both build on the legacy of the Reagan Revolution and bring the ideals of the tea party movement to the Oval Office.”

Bannon, who acquired audio rights to Palin’s bestseller, “Going Rogue,” uses passages from the book to narrate the film. The film also uses clips of Rosie O’Donnell, Matt Damon, Bill Maher, David Letterman, Louis C.K. and Howard Stern, all trashing Palin, in the doc’s opening moments.

According to Conroy, Bannon came onto the project as after being approached by Palin’s aide Rebecca Mansour. Originally intended as a series of videos, Bannon opted to craft a feature out of the material with a reported budget of $1 million.

A former naval officer and investment banker at Goldman Sachs, Bannon has a number of conservative docs under his belt: “Battle for America,” a look at the conflict between ‘constitutional conservatives’ and the government; “Fire From the Heartland,” which examines the history of conservative women in America; and the Ronald Reagan profile “In the Face of Evil: Reagan’s War in Word and Deed.”

All, except “In the Face of Evil,” were funded by Citizens United Prods., the documentary film production and marketing arm of Citizens United, a site sponsored by Newt and Callista Gingrich.

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