Former White House Chief Strategist, CEO of the 2016 Trump campaign and executive chairman of the far-right news site Breitbart News, Steve Bannon sits down with filmmaker Errol Morris for an extensive interview. Through his role as advisor to Donald Trump, many describe Bannon as “the architect of Trumpism.” Morris takes a number of Bannon’s favorite films (including Henry King’s Twelve O'Clock High, John Ford’s The Searchers and Orson Welles’ Chimes at Midnight) as a means of delving into Bannon’s world view and feelings about Trump. We hear how Bannon developed from the “hardcore Democratic family” in which he was born to become a leading figure of the alt-right, and we learn about the ideas that formed him and his role in Trump’s election.
Morris is critical, but avoids direct attacks in his interview, and the result is openness on Bannon’s part: this is Bannon according to Bannon. Gradually Bannon’s influential ideology unfolds—one that terrifies Morris: “I’m scared of you guys, I really am.” Morris has described American Dharma as a “horror film,” with a fascinating villain in the leading role, too dangerous to ignore.