Movie Review by Conspiracy Nation

Senator  Bulworth  (Warren  Beatty)  has  some  sort  of  nervous
collapse, then begins ignoring his  handlers  and  says  what  he
really  thinks.   Interwoven through all this is an assassination
plot against Bulworth, financed by  Bulworth himself who wants to
be murdered and have his daughter collect on a $10  million  life
insurance  policy.   The  $10  million  life insurance policy, in
turn, is a  little  "gift"  to  Sen.  Bulworth from the insurance
industry  in  return  for  his  help  impeding  insurance  reform

The  year is 1996 and Bulworth is up for re-election.  He and his
people are scrounging for  "campaign contributions" (bribes) from
corporate America.  Senator  Bulworth,  in  one  scene,  gives  a
disorderly  speech  to  assembled movie moguls whom he is pumping
for cash.  But embarrassingly,  the  Senator informs the gathered
tycoons that their product is not very good.  He even goes so far
as to note that most of them are  Jewish  and  are  lobbying  for
legislation favorable to Israel. 

Later,  the unbalanced senator goes to a black, all-night rap bar
and lets his hair  down.   He  smokes  pot and parties all night.
>From this emerges a latent talent for rap music;  henceforth  the
senator speaks and responds to reporters with rap songs.  Typical
mainstream  movie  reviews  have complained that Bulworth gives a
white version  of  rap,  but  the  mainstream  reviewers miss the
point:  Bulworth has assimilated black rap music, but  the  whole
point  is  that  he  is a white man doing rap -- if he did it too
well he'd not be Bulworth!

The soul-brother senator later  participates  in a debate against
his chief opponent in the primary.  Questioning  the  two  are  a
trio  of celebrity journalists.  Responding to the first question
asked, Bulworth goes into a rap about how he's rich, his opponent
is rich, the trio of journalists  are rich, and that they are all
of them bought and paid for by corporate America, which also owns
the media outlets televising the debate.   "All  of  us  get  our
money  from  the  same corporations.  We all have the same boss."
Then, "mysteriously," there are  "technical difficulties" and the
broadcast is halted.

The black girl who becomes Senator Bulworth's love interest turns
out to be his hired assassin.  She and the senator discuss "where
have things gone wrong since the 1960s?"  She  acknowledges  that
some  believe  assassinations  of key populist leaders caused the
downfall of "the movement," but  she herself traces the defeat of
popular movements originating in the  1960s  to  the  decline  of
America's  manufacturing  base.   As  Conspiracy Nation has noted
before, the factories are all moving away from the USA, and cheap
foreign labor  is  being  imported  into  the  USA  to handle the
"service jobs" which cannot feasibly be exported.  The  senator's
black  girlfriend  believes that the failure of "the movement" is
due to  loss  of  economic  dynamism  rooted  in  a well-employed
populace; with the people scrounging just to survive, there is  a
concurrent  diminuition  of  economic confidence which had in the
past translated  to  a  surge  in  populist democratic movements.
With less and less money, the common  people  have  a  consequent
loss  of  esteem  translating  into  political  apathy.   And her
opinion itself becomes  transformed  later  into a senatorial rap
sequence outlining her ideas -- as if Senator Bulworth has become
a blank slate which merely echoes the voices of his constituents.

Ironically,  Bulworth  winds up as the target of an assassination
attempt -- but not  at  the  hands  of the original paid killers.
Lurking in the background when Bulworth is shot is the  insurance
lobbyist,  who  feels  the  senator  has  betrayed  the insurance
industry by his  candid  explanations  of  what  it is all about.
After all, "They had a deal!!"  In return  for  certain  "gifts,"
the  senator  had agreed to bottleneck pending reform legislation
-- yet subsequently he  had  aired the insurance industry's dirty
laundry in videogenic rap music-type press conferences.

The movie closes with us not knowing  whether  the  senator  will
survive  being shot.  An intermittently appearing street bum sums
it up: We need you as a =spirit=, not as a ghost!

Although some  might  not  agree  with  all  the  political views
expressed in Beatty's movie, such as his advocacy  of  socialism,
there  is  still  a lot in this movie which "hits the nail on the
head."  Beatty attacks the  media monopoly relentlessly, pointing
out how a handful of corporations control what views  America  is
allowed  to  hear discussed.  He even goes so far as to question,
"Who exactly owns the airwaves?   Aren't they really owned by the
American people?"  Conspiracy Nation feels that this movie  would
never  have existed without the power of Warren Beatty behind it.
Mr. Beatty obviously cares a  great  deal about where his country
is in 1998, and his movie, "Bulworth," boils down to a  giant  "I
care."   Maybe  he's  wrong  in some things, maybe the movie gets
"preachy"  once  or  twice, but once again (as in Michael Moore's
"The Big One"), somehow a  bit  of  the truth has gotten past the
corporate censors and into the consciousness of everyday America.

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