When delegates to the Democratic national convention gather in Philadelphia at the end of July to – almost certainly – nominate Hillary Clinton as their presidential candidate, they may be in for a bit of a surprise. The night before the opening ceremonies, a film will be premiered in the city that portrays her in a very different light from the official biography.
Clinton Cash is an hour-long cinematic version of the book of the same name that caused quite a stir when it was published a year ago. In lurid images of blood-splattered dollars fluttering down over warlords in conflict zones, accompanied by a menacing soundtrack worthy of a horror classic, the film seeks to distill in punchy form the central message of the book: that Hillary and Bill Clinton, since leaving the White House famously “dead broke” in 2001, have amassed a vast fortune of more than $200m by blurring the lines between public office, their philanthropic foundation, lucrative speaker fees and friendships with dubious characters around the world.
As the book’s author, and main narrator of the film, Peter Schweizer, puts it on camera: “The elites of these countries are getting rich, the Clintons are getting rich, and the money is not trickling down to the people.” Along the way, he alleges, the Clintons “have betrayed their own principles”.
It’s a powerful message, one that is clearly designed to stir up trouble at the convention at just the moment when Clinton should be revelling in her victory in the Democratic race. For the Clinton campaign it will have an air of deja vu, as they had to deal with the turbulence caused by the book in May 2015.
Clinton Cash opens with a sequence of clips of Hillary and Bill setting out the goals for their charitable foundation, pitched in laudably ethical terms. “Ending hunger is a moral imperative,” Hillary says. “We are trying to do something that no one has done before,” Bill opines.
But the documentary quickly slips into a much more ominous tone, in which the film-makers seek to undermine the Clintons’ claim to do-gooding with the suggestion that their purpose was far more nefarious. Visual metaphors are deployed that are at times none too sophisticated, such as a shot of a pack of lions devouring an antelope during a discussion of the couple’s activities in Africa.
As with the book, the film piles example upon example of the alleged conflict of interest between Hillary Clinton in her 2009-13 role as US secretary of state, Bill Clinton and his astronomical speaker fees that could reach as high as $750,000, and the multimillion-dollar donations received from leading politicians and businessmen to the Clinton Foundation. Over its 60 minutes, it scuttles from Africa to Haiti, where it accuses the Clintons of “disaster capitalism”, to Latin America, India and Russia.
“We’ve seen repeatedly over and over again, when it comes to the Clintons you have to follow the money,” the narrator says. “You can’t come to any other conclusion than it’s a system of pay to play.”
As with the book, the film contains nuggets that point to areas of conduct on the part of the Clintons that are certainly worthy of further investigation, all the more so the closer Hillary Clinton gets to the White House. Perhaps the most telling detail is the bald fact that between 2001 and 2013 Bill Clinton made 13 speeches in which he charged more than $500,000 in fees; 11 of those speeches were made within the period when his wife was working as America’s top diplomat.
Read the rest of the review at The Guardian.
Watch the film’s trailer below:
Listen to Peter Schweizer discuss the film with Alex Marlow on the Friday edition of Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM: