The Brink follows far-right icon Steve Bannon and chronicles his activities for over a year. The film aims to see past the idea that Bannon is a complete mastermind, and it does this well, as it shows how the far-right movement has many flaws. Moreover, it also shows the many contradictions within the far-right.
When viewing the film, the first striking moment is how well connected these far-right movements are, as it shows Bannon meeting with figures from various far-right groups across Europe. These include working with Nigel Farage, National Rally’s Louis Aliot and Matteo Salvini. What this immediately shows is that the far-right are working together, across national borders. Bannon explicitly returns to a desire to make a global movement with him providing the resources for it to grow.
The film breaks down the idea of the far-right representing a working class movement. It shows how close Bannon is with John Thornton (former president of Goldman Sachs), Erik Prince (founder of Blackwater) and Chinese billionaire Miles Kwok.
Moreover, it mostly shows how Bannon and his entourage travel in private jets, and contrasts that to him claiming he stands for the working class. The film debunks any myths that the far-right is anti-establishment. It shows that it is driven by the finances of those who are clearly part of the establishment.
The film reveals the many contradictions within the far-right movement, as Bannon claims that he does not accept money from international donors, but he accepts money from Miles Kwok. Moreover, Bannon constantly denies that he works with fascists, but he is seen working with the Brothers of Italy group and with members of the Sweden Democrats, both of which have fascist elements within them.
One element the film shows is how divided the far-right groups are, despite Bannon wanting to bring them together. They are shown to be struggling with a set of ideas that they want to promote and they are saying stuff that makes them appear as crazy, as Bannon did when he compared China, Iran and Turkey to the axis powers of the 1930s. Additionally, we see the tensions between these groups.
Overall, The Brink gives us a glimpse into the workings of the far-right, even though it was limited in the access it had when following Bannon. However, the access it had was eye-opening, as it shows the true nature of the far-right and actually breaks down many of the myths they push onto us.
Therefore, for anyone wanting to have a greater understanding about how the global far-right is operating, this film is well worth watching.