From Owen Gleiberman‘s pan of Errol Morris‘s American Dharma: “Steve Bannon can be specific about the things he wants to destroy (like NATO), but if Morris asks him what he wants to build in their place, he’ll cough up a homily about the people taking back their power. He’ll tell you that he’d trust 100 random rubes wearing MAGA hats at a Trump rally to run the government more than he would the 100 people who actually run it. His political ‘philosophy’ comes down to throw-the-bums-out meets Being There.
“Yet Morris doesn’t question Bannon, let alone push him to the wall, on any of this. At one point, Morris says that he thinks there’s a ‘good’ Bannon and a ‘bad’ Bannon, and that the bad Bannon is the one who would let corporations destroy pollution laws. How, Morris asks, does that serve the public? And how does it not serve the elites?
“Bannon never answers him, and this sets up a softball pattern that’s repeated throughout the film: On the rare occasions when Morris gets around to challenging Bannon (once every 20 minutes or so), Bannon ducks the question, and that’s that. He never punctures his freedom-fighter-for-Joe-Sixpack firebrand congeniality, and the film moves on to something else. At one point Morris calls Bannon ‘crazy,’ but Bannon’s discourse is so rational on the surface that it’s never clear if Morris understands what Bannon’s craziness is truly about: his desire for a revolution that he’s the tipping point of. He’s an armchair megalomaniac — an elitist in warrior’s clothing.”