Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia (2013) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • This is an unashamedly opinionated film. In Gore Vidal's America, the political coup has already happened. The right have triumphed and the human values of the liberals have been consigned to history. But how did this happen and who organized it? In this film Gore Vidal's acerbic, opinionated and informed approach rips away at the facade of the new America. The film dramatizes Gore's political views and his concern at the present state of American democracy using interviews and historical footage of his famous appearances on television and talk shows over the last fifty years. In the recently filmed interviews Gore examines the course of American history and policy making and draws dramatic conclusions on the fate of the nation in the modern age.

  • Through interviews including with the subject himself and through archival footage, the life of American essayist, novelist and playwright/screenwriter Gore Vidal (1925-2012) is presented in largely chronological order. His body of work largely muddies the line between fiction and non-fiction as even his historical novels often use the facts as solely a starting point to provide his perspective of American society. His fictional works also come from he being an openly gay man, he who was in a long term relationship with partner Howard Auster. He is a highly polarizing but popular figure as a critic of organized religion and politics, the latter coming from being from a political family. He is not afraid to criticize his political friends, such as President John F. Kennedy, and criticize politics in general despite he having run unsuccessfully for political office twice in his life. Beyond from those who support his views on many facets of society, his popularity also stems from being "good TV", such as in the 1968 political debates with fellow intellectual William F. Buckley, the two who were not afraid to stand their ground and criticize the other in their vastly opposing viewpoints.



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