GORE VIDAL: THE UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA
Directed by Nicholas D. Wrathall
83 min | 2013 | USA/Italy
Love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny that Gore Vidal had a profound impact on contemporary culture and politics. During a prolific professional life that spanned more the 50 years, Vidal took great pleasure in being a public figure. His first novel, Williwaw (1946), published when he was 21 launched his literary career, but it was his third novel, The City and The Pillar (1948) and it’s unambiguous portrayal of homosexuality that brought him both fame and notoriety. His subsequent forays into politics, Hollywood, criticism, and commentary further solidified his place as cultural provocateur.
This portrait balances his personal life and political views, and examines a man who lived at the center of 20th century culture and politics in the US. From his friendships with Eleanor Roosevelt and President Kennedy to his famously contentions debates with William Buckley, Norman Mailer and Christopher Hitchens. The film also explores Vidal’s unique personal life, his views on sex and love, and his long-time relationship with Howard Austen. Through intimate, one-on-one interviews with Vidal himself, archival footage of his often contentious TV appearances and commentary from those who knew him best, Wrathall creates an entertaining and captivating tribute to this American icon.