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Boogie Man (2008) If you want to hear juicy inside tales of the scams devised by Lee Atwater, the right-wing visionary of media-age dirty tricks, you'll find loads… 2008-09-26 Unrated PT86M Documentary
Movie Review

Boogie Man (2008)

MPAA Rating: Unrated

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Lee Atwater, Boogie Man | RIGHT WING ROCK 'N' ROLL Lee Atwater in Stefan Forbes' documentary Boogie Man
Image credit: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
RIGHT WING ROCK 'N' ROLL Lee Atwater in Stefan Forbes' documentary Boogie Man
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Limited Release: Sep 26, 2008; Rated: Unrated; Length: 86 Minutes; Genre: Documentary

If you want to hear juicy inside tales of the scams devised by Lee Atwater, the right-wing visionary of media-age dirty tricks, you'll find loads of them in Boogie Man. Stefan Forbes' incisive portrait of the late, infamous Republican consultant is a chronicle of how the culture 
 war took over American politics. 
 As such, it could scarcely be more timely. (Karl Rove was Atwater's protégé.) Atwater, who relished playing rock & blues guitar almost as much as he loved slinging mud, had his first dark victory in 1978, when he smeared Max Heller — a Holocaust survivor running for U.S. Congress — with a campaign that claimed Heller didn't believe in the Lord. After that, there was Willie Horton, Whitewater — the hits kept coming. In terrific clips, we see the scampish gleam of mischief that shot out of Atwater's steely eyes, giving him the look of a honky-tonk Daniel Craig. His great strategy, and legacy, was the art of lying out in the open. He saw that character assassination invades media like an airborne virus — that even a lie can become its own ''truth.'' B+

Originally posted Sep 17, 2008 Published in issue #1013 Sep 26, 2008 Order article reprints