Weiner06 Jun 2016
Although Anthony Weiner is the central figure in Weiner, I found myself focusing more on his wife Huma Abiden and the city of New York. This is in part because I just couldn’t take Weiner seriously. He is a man lacking discipline and will power. He displays all the stereotypical characteristics we’ve come to learn identify politicians - megalomania, self-involvement, an over grown need for attention. But he also lacks some of the other qualities that can bring balance - leadership, intelligence, vision and empathy. He is funny, though, which helps rescue the film a bit.
Huma Abiden, on the other hand, is an interesting focal point. Though she speaks sparingly, shots of her face tell many stories. She is a woman caught between decisions. She seems to be constantly doing mental calculus about her husband, her career, her family, her place in the public sphere. Huma, throughout this film, seems unsatisfied and unable to find a path to satisfaction. To me, she is a woman seeking advice but unable to make a decision for herself about what she wants. She does say she has forgiven Weiner and will stick by his side but it’s a decision she doesn’t sell very well.
The other exciting part of this documentary was the depiction of NYC. All the peripheral characters, people yelling on the street, people pointing and smirking on sidewalks, members of community meetings captured New York brilliantly. The documentary smartly followed Weiner around all parts of the city and as a result the audience got a 2 hour tour through all the madness, diversity and lovability that comprises New York.