The Power of Multiple Witnesses in The Undefeated

Guest Submission by Del Parker (Irish Coins) 

Proverbs 27:2
Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.

John 5:31
If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

The first person I interviewed after the first premiere screening of The Undefeated in Grapevine described an emotional reaction:  “… I was almost in tears at the end.”

This reaction would be repeated — even among the skeptical.

Saturday evening, I received an email from a fellow Texas o4p volunteer: “I got a chance to talk with a leader of a large tea party group. He said their people and churches are mainly going with MB at this time.” I told them not to worry because after they watch The Undefeated they would see the light.

He just sent word to me that he cried nine times during the movie and now he wants to talk to me and meet with some of the other leaders who saw the movie as well. They were under the assumption that Palin would not be running. That idea has changed now and they are waking up to the light and what is really about to happen.

So what is it that provokes such strong feelings and tears and change of heart?  What would you hear if you asked the first person, “Why were you almost in tears?”  Or asked the second, “What was it that changed your mind about Sarah Palin?”  The answer may not be the one they tell you, and it may well be a secret even to them, even after seeing the movie, and having this change of heart, and pondering why.

Director Steve Bannon is a student and admirer of Michael Moore’s work, to the point of studying Michael Moore imitators and the reasons for their failures.  And I would venture that, just from being around the audiences exiting The Undefeated that Steve Bannon’s exit audience is more convinced and convicted and alive than is Michael Moore’s. So what is it that makes this film successful, to the point of having audiences standing up and crying and clapping and cheering at every performance to date, not scheduled at midnight?

I venture the secret is the use of multiple witnesses to tell the story, that is Sarah Palin’s story.  And remember, Sarah Palin has said, “This is not about me.”  The first half of The Undefeated is about Alaska and the character and life of the people in Alaska, and about a fight against corruption in government, that had come to affect the quality of life in Alaska.

Sarah Palin rose from the obscure role of a rural fisherman’s wife, the daughter of school teachers, and mother of a growing family, to become the leader in that successful fight.  Sarah Palin could not tell this story.  It had to be told by others, including 10 Alaskans, to be credible and effective.  Each witness to this story tells the story from their own perspective, and the truth of each story so told, is enforced by the story, as told from the perspective of others.  This is the secret about truth.  Truth, when examined from every perspective, is true.  Multiple witnesses establish the truth of a matter in ways that are unshakeable.  This point was perhaps aptly illustrated in the movie by Alaskan earthquake footage.

While Acts One and Two concern Sarah Palin’s life in Alaska as Mayor of Wasilla, and Governor, Act Three and the Coda following, detail the campaign with John McCain, and the aftermath, including her resignation as Governor following the breakup of the coalition she had formed in Alaska to govern with an 80+% approval rating for three years running.

This was the highest approval rating for a seated governor recorded by Gallup.  The coalition failed when the Democrats withdrew support, following the presidential campaign, and a vicious smear campaign by the left ensued. The reason being, according to Mark Levin, “…Sarah Palin represented an existential threat to the left.”

Again, this story is told by children of the Reagan Revolution: Andrew Breitbart, and Mark Levin, and others, including Tammy Bruce.  The methodology is the same, with one witness after another giving their view of Sarah Palin, from their unique perspective.  And at the end, Levin and Breitbart appear again and bear witness, having appeared earlier, first one, then the other, over and over, and over and over, and over and over again, until the audience is on their feet and screaming, and crying out the door.

Although this is the grand scheme for this project, its success or failure lies in the details.  In The Undefeated, about 16 different characters, relate their knowledge of events, each from the perspective of their personal knowledge.  The stories are mixed and overlapped and the viewer is constantly listening to one story and then another.  The fluidity and strength of the overall presentation, is due to Bannon’s quickly juxtaposing one story with another, and with another, and then back to the storyline of the first, while strengthening each story with archival footage of Sarah Palin.  When one character finishes their part of the story, they are yanked off the stage, before they have time to even begin to draw their next breath, which leaves the viewer breathless, with the eyes and mind wide open and searching and focusing on the next segment.

Sarah is a serious runner and  ran cross country in high school. She did seven-mile regular runs as Governor, and was on the front cover of Runners World, where her detractors claimed her legs were photo shopped. They weren’t. She did four miles in the late afternoon heat in Gettysburg during the bus tour two months ago, before going immediately into an impromptu meeting with reporters.  All the while the story line is being told by the various witnesses, the music draws together the various interweaving threads.  The music might be described as a jogger’s or a runner’s cadence, as there is a continuous awareness that we are indeed using energy in a measured way, that we are running, and yes this will end, but, it is not going to be just yet, and in the meantime we are going to do everything we can to succeed in maxing our performance and using the resources we have to keep our head up and put one foot in front of the other on the path and claim the prize.

What is noteworthy about The Undefeated and its audience, is the use of not just multiple witnesses to tell the story of Sarah Palin, but taking it to the next level, and using the power of multiple witnesses to advertise the movie itself, and thus mobilize and grow Organize 4 Palin, and to mobilize the ground troops.

So far only word of mouth, via email, via Facebook, via links to You-Tube, and via Twitter have been used to draw audience.  The audience so drawn is being drawn by the witness of those that have seen it, not by something in a Soros-paid media commentary, or paid advertising.  The mainstream media has nothing to do with it.  Every person that sees it is likely to bring others who in turn will have an influence on still more.  This is exactly the same methodology that led to the rapid growth of the early first century church, and how that history was portrayed in Acts.

Growth was accomplished, not by addition, but by multiplication.  It is not the people you witness to, that is important.  It is the people they witness to.  It is not the people you sign up to Organize 4 Palin that are nearly as important at the people they sign up to Organize 4 Palin.  The message remains to, “Go and find your place with Organize 4 Palin.”

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