“Running with Arnold,” a documentary about California Governor and Bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, first premiered at the South by Southwest (SWSW) film festival in Austin last March 2007. It was not a particularly ambitious film and full of factual errors. Certainly, Schwarzenegger’s admitted steroid use is fair game, but the director also makes pathetic attempts to link Arnold Schwarzenegger to Adolf Hitler by repeatedly juxtaposing Nazi imagery within the film. Many bad films have debuted at film festivals and quickly disappeared. But for some reason, this film is now being released in theatres (at least in California) and at least for this weekend.
How unfair is the portrayal of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the documentary? Even liberal activist Alec Baldwin, who was hired to do the voiceover narration, had his lawyers (unsuccessfully)to compel the producers of the film to remove his voiceover narration from the film.
…Schwarzenegger deserves to be treated fairly and the film’s images of Nazi rallies were over the line… The people of California have the right to reelect an unqualified man to lead their state, and they have the right to do so without unfair and ultimately offensive images of the Third Reich thrown in for bad measure…
Mike Gabrawy, the film’s producer,the juxtaposition of Nazi imagery with Arnold Schwarzenegger:
I knew we’d get resistance to a film about the most prominent Republican in California. We’re all just a bit shocked that it’s coming from a supporter of the film and arguably the most outspoken Democrat. The [Third Reich] images that Mr. Baldwin mentioned were used to make points about Waldheim and Arnold’s father.
Well, the reviews are starting to come out now, and few critics seem sympathetic towards the producers of the documentary feeling it’s less of a documentary and more like a 72-minute!