Directors Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon’s “Best of Enemies,” a 2015 Sundance premiere, offers a charming portrait of the legendary 1968 television debates between the liberal Gore Vidal and his more conservative nemesis William F. Buckley, Jr.
These live, unscripted debates brought ABC out of a ratings slump. We see Vidal, a very-leftist novelist, polemicist and cousin to Jackie Onassis, go head-to-head with Buckley and his right-wing ideologies. Plenty of name-calling, vitriol-spewing and policy and personal insults spark in this examination of America at a crossroads.
With insight from talking heads including their friends and contemporaries including Christopher Hitchens, Noam Chomsky, Dick Cavett, Kelsey Grammer and John Lithgow, “Best of Enemies” has played the festival circuit far and wide since contending for Sundance’s Documentary prize. Expect more awards kudos for this film down the line.