BIFF 2020
Client 9

Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer

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The rise and fall of Eliot Spitzer: A spectacular story on sex, power and a whole lot of money.

CLIENT 9 is Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney's portrait of the rise and fall of Eliot Spitzer. As New York's Attorney General, Gibney was known and feared as "The Sheriff of Wall Street", and after his election as Governor, many believed Spitzer would one day become the nation's first Jewish President. But just as Spitzer was about to truly make his mark on American politics, his dealings with a high-priced prostitution ring was made public. Spitzer's demise was quick. As his powerful enemies gloated, his supporters questioned the timing of it all: as the Sheriff fell, so did the financial markets, in a cataclysm that threatened to unravel the global economy.

 

Alex Gibney made himself a name as a documentary filmmaker of international reknown with the popular and critically acclaimed ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM (2005), which told the story of the scandal-ridden energy corporation Enron. Previous to this Gibney had worked in TV for a long time as a producer and director. He followed up ENRON with the Academy Award winning TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE (2007), a critical look at the interrogation- and torture techniques of American troops in Afghanistan. The prolific director was back already next year with a somewhat lighter offering. GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON was Gibney's version of the life and times of the famous and infamous journalist and author, and was praised by both critics and a small, but vocal audience. Success does not seem to make Gibney rest on his laurels. In 2010 alone he offers up no less than four feature length documentaries; in addition to CASINO JACK (page 71), he has directed FREAKONOMICS, MY TRIP TO AL-QAEDA about the struggles of author and journalist Lawrence Wright in his attempts to approach the subject of Islamic terror with his objectivity intact, and CLIENT 9: THE RISE AND FALL OF ELIOT SPITZER (page 74), which tells the story of the ambitious and reform minded New York governor, whose career collapsed when it was made known that he was a client of a prostitution ring.