There may be no figure more polarizing in American politics today than Steve Bannon, the Executive Chairman of Breitbart News. Drawing on interviews with political insiders, former associates, authors, and journalists, Bannon’s War tells the inside story of the former Trump advisor’s fight to deliver on the U.S. President’s promises. It also reveals his personal crusade -- against radical Islam, against Washington and against his White House rivals.

SCENE FROM THE FILM: Steve Bannon finds a figurehead in Donald Trump.

The film examines Bannon’s roots and his start in politics as an anti-establishment candidate in student government. A degree at Harvard business school led to a coveted job at Goldman Sachs, where he spent his early career financing Hollywood films. Eventually, he produced his own documentaries emphasizing counter-culture conservatism and grim predictions about America’s future.

“Steve Bannon sees America’s dilemma…as really part of a civilizational battle between the forces of the West and faith and democracy versus that of Islam and terrorism. And he has kind of reduced all of the conflicts of modern society to that essential face-off between the terrorists and the Americans.”
-- MARC FISHER, The Washington Post, in Bannon’s War

Bannon’s War traces the origins of his friendship with Andrew Breitbart, founder of the alt-right Breitbart News Network, and Bannon’s role in making it an influential force in right-wing politics. As his views gained momentum in Middle America, Steve Bannon searched for a candidate who could deliver the nationalist message he’d been working on for more than a decade. He found a vehicle for his views in Donald Trump. As Trump campaigned for the presidency, his speeches began to echo Breitbart headlines. Kurt Bardella, former spokesman for Breitbart says in the film, “Steve is the guiding right hand, the Karl Rove, if you will, of the Trump campaign.”

Donald Trump with his team at the White HousePresident Donald Trump with his team, including Steve Bannon, in the White House

The documentary also reveals how Bannon has shaped Trump’s presidency to date, orchestrating the rollout of Trump’s controversial travel ban. “They knew it was going to be disruptive…Bannon sees disruption as power,” says Robert Costa of The Washington Post.

From his role in the power struggles and policy clashes that have defined the early days of the Trump White House, to his exit from the administration, Bannon’s War is a meticulous portrait one of the U.S. President’s most influential advisors.

Credits (Click to expand)

DIRECTED BY

Michael Kirk

WRITTEN BY

Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser

PRODUCED BY

Michael Kirk

Mike Wiser

Philip Bennett

PRODUCED AND REPORTED BY

Gabrielle Schonder

EDITOR

Steve Audette, ACE

PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE

Colette Neirouz Hanna

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Peter Berkrot

Mike McNally

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Ken Fishkin

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Callie Wiser

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Original funding for this program was provided by Public Television stations, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Park Foundation, John and Helen Glessner Family Trust, FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

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