Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes
Director: Alexis Bloom
2018, USA, 107 minutes, Digital
Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes sheds light on the current moment in American political life by following the arc of Roger Ailes: long-time Republican svengali and controversial founder of Fox News. By coaching an unrivaled stable of politicians over the course of fifty years, Ailes heavily influenced Republican politics, steering the conservative movement from Nixon, to the Tea Party, to Trump. Under his tutelage, anger and fear became the coin of the realm, both on the ballot and on national television. He discarded notions of traditional journalism and turned prime time television into flame-throwing TV. Short skirts and low necklines mesmerized his audience and, as long as Fox made money, there was little oversight of his fiefdom. But the carnival house mirror Ailes put up to America reflected his own distorted personal life.
This is a story of serial cruelty, both on the public stage and in private life. Like a true Shakespearean figure, ambition and desire were Ailes’ undoing. He was finally toppled when victims of his sexual harassment stepped forward. The accounts of these women—raw and infuriating—are the axis around which Ailes’ story inexorably turns.
“Harrowing… If you want to get a feel for why the political climate is the way it is now, this portrait of a mad genius is a must-see.”
— Odie Henderson, RogerEbert.com
“A clean and straightforward account of how a hemophiliac from small town Ohio grew up to become the most powerful man in media, effectively destroy the country that he claimed to love, and harass a whole lot of women along the way.”
— David Ehrlich, IndieWire
Toronto International Film Festival