The Reel Review
This Hulu docuseries is a fascinating, in-depth profile of one of the most polarizing women in American political history – Hillary Clinton. Told via interviews with Hillary, her husband Bill, longtime friends and colleagues, and set to an astounding array of archival footage, we get one of the most comprehensive portraits yet of the former First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State and two time Presidential candidate.
The docuseries covers all of the expected topics – Hillary’s upbringing, including some impressive footage of her college years, her meeting Bill Clinton in law school, her work as a women’s and children’s rights advocate, their marriage, life in Arkansas, Bill’s sex scandals and their respective political careers.
Most fascinating, however, is when we see the personality behind the public image. Director Nanette Burstein seamlessly meshes behind the scenes footage from the 2016 Presidential campaign with a more candid Hillary of today, who gives a surprisingly frank assessment of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, as well as her feelings about the Monica Lewinsky scandal and her heartbreaking loss to Trump in 2016. Bill even candidly discusses his regret over the Lewinsky scandal.
The four hour series also deftly weaves Hillary’s history with today’s perspective. The point? That Hillary, despite being one of the most maligned women in American history, was and remains a true pioneer in the women’s movement. The things she did that were so “shockingly feminist” then are widely accepted norms in today’s world. Fans of Hillary will love her even more, and those who dislike her may just end up taking a hard look at themselves to see what it about themselves that has sparked their dislike for her. Love her or hate her, this is one very well done docuseries.
• No stranger to lengthy testimony, Hillary Clinton was interviewed for 35 hours over seven days for the docuseries.
• After initially planning to hold the docuseries until after the 2020 election, director Nanette Burstein says given the crazy political climate, they decided to release it now anyway.
• Hillary Clinton tells CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that Trump, with his missteps on trade embargoes and quick fix tax cuts, is even more terrifying as a president than she could have imagined and did not rise to the position as she had hoped he would. She says four more years of Trump is unimaginable for America’s future.