I told you last week that I’d seen the new documentary, “Where’s My Roy Cohn?” Matt Tyrnauer’s incendiary film, which debuted at Sundance, lays out the evil path taken by Donald Trump’s mentor and advisor, the same man who became infamous as advisor to Senator Joe McCarthy on his Communist witch hunt of the 1950s.
Cohn, who destroyed lives and lied about his own life, was the inventor of a kind of obfuscation, a political sleight of hand, that diverted attention from his own incredible misdeeds. Instead of running from scandal, he ran toward it, like a building on fire, and pretended it wasn’t there.
Tyrnauer’s movie will be released by Sony Pictures Classics on September 20th, one week before the start of the New York Film Festival. There will be some build up before that date, so audiences will flock to art houses.
But now we know that soon thereafter, in the New York Film Festival, will come another Cohn doc I told you about last year. Ivy Meeropol is the filmmaker granddaughter of convicted and executed spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Her film about them, “Heir to an Execution,” was illuminating and should be seen by everyone.
Now “Bully, Coward, Victim,” her own film about Cohn, is sure to get people talking. After all, Cohn personally oversaw the Rosenberg executions despite Ethel’s innocence and massive public protest. Meeropol has included exclusive interviews Cohn did with Peter Manso before his death. Cohn could be talking about a lot of people on those tapes, including his “beard,” Barbara Walters, and other famous friends who defended him when he was disbarred in the 1980s.
Meeropol’s film- and Tynauer’s– are going to be a source of displeasure for Trump, who will undoubtedly claim he never knew the despicable fixer. But video and photo evidence will belie those assertions.
Ivy said in a statement last year: “The time has come for audiences to understand a man who, while hiding so much of himself from the world, has had a profound influence on our society, even to this day. We are thrilled to partner with HBO Documentary Films to bring this remarkable story to life.”
These two films will compete for Oscar slots, among other awards. Despite being described as a Satanic type, Cohn, in hell, or wherever he is, is no doubt thrilled to have the attention!