When Sheila Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films, approached longtime directing duo Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (Party Monster, The Eyes of Tammy Faye) about chronicling the history of the U.S. military’s infamous “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, their response was initially tepid.
“We didn’t understand what the big deal was,” says Bailey, who, with Barbato, hosted the world premiere of The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell on Sept. 14 at the Castro Theatre. “What was there to tell? We didn’t completely understand the nonsense at the heart of the law.
His downfall plays like Greek tragedy, a flawed hero laid low by hubris. It has inspired Saturday Night Live skits, the 18th-season finale of Law & Order and the hit CBS drama The Good Wife. Now, the story of the former New York governor brought down by his ties to a high-priced prostitution ring is revisited in Alex Gibney’s Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer.
No stranger to controversy—on the contrary, he courts it with the passion of a man possessed—Michael Moore has never minced words in his rabblerousing tirades against on-screen targets including the NRA, America’s private health-care providers and the Bush administration. So it should come as no surprise that the Michigan-born documentarian, 55, is equally blunt in his assessment of American economic policy in his latest offering, Capitalism: A Love Story.