American Dharma: Errol Morris on Steve Bannon, Cancel Culture, and His History With Theranos

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Outrage mobs kept his new movie “American Dharma” out of theaters for a year.

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After Errol Morris debuted his documentary about Stephen Bannon last year at the Venice Film Festival, early reviewers charged that by profiling the president’s former chief strategist and former executive chairman of, the Academy Award-winning filmmaker was serving as a mouthpiece for Donald Trump.

It was the first time in decades that the acclaimed director of The Thin Blue Line and The Fog of War couldn’t get a movie into theaters. “The experience was so damn weird,” Morris tells Reason. “People became so angry with me and with the movie, they certainly wanted to deplatform not just Bannon, but they wanted to deplatform me.”

But now his film, American Dharma, is finally coming to the big screen.

Nick Gillespie sat down with the 71-year-old Morris, whom Roger Ebert called “as great a filmmaker as Hitchcock or Fellini,” to talk about the censorious first reactions to his new film, his history with Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, and what he learned—and didn’t learn—about Steve Bannon’s philosophy.

Produced and shot by Jim Epstein, Intro by Paul Detrick, edited by Ian Keyser, additional camera by Kevin Alexander.

Music credit: ‘You’re Not Wrong’ by roljui

Photo credits:

Photo of Steven Bannon; Credit: Lewis JOLY/JDD/SIPA/Newscom
Photo of Errol Morris on Oscar Night; Credit: GARY HERSHORN/REUTERS/Newscom
Photo of Errol Morris talking to news cameras; Credit: Chuck Liddy/MCT/Newscom
Photo of Steven Bannon, standing; Credit: Abaca Press/Renaud Khanh/Abaca/Sipa USA/Newscom
Photo of Steven Bannon in shadow; Credit: Lewis JOLY/JDD/SIPA/Newscom
Photos from 2018 Venice Film Festival; Credit: Lucia Sabatelli/Polaris/Newscom
Photo of Errol Morris; Credit: SMG/ZUMA Press/Newscom
Photo of Elizabeth Holmes; Credit: Ouzounova/Splash News/Newscom

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