Director: Alex Gibney | USA | 2010 | 118 minutes
Client 9 traces the downfall of former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer back to a sex scandal that ended his political career and war against Wall Street. Spitzer was an activist for same sex marriage and immigration reform, subsequently causing him to be on Wall Street’s hit list. In 2008, it came to the attention of the public that Spitzer was a member at the Emperor’s Club VIP where he hired prostitutes at the staggering prices of $1,000 and up an hour. Eliot Spitzer quickly resigned after this scandal.
As Kenneth Turan at the LA Times writes “As the state's attorney general, [Eliot Spitzer] had become known as ‘the sheriff of Wall Street’ for his willingness to take on powerful and previously untouchable special interests in the financial world. His reputation for personal incorruptibility had led to a victory in the 2006 governor's race with an impressive 69 percent of the popular vote. His campaign slogan: ‘Bring Some Passion Back to Albany.’ While he might have built his image up as a All American do-gooder, Spitzer has some serious skeletons in the closet, which Wall Street made it their mission to surface.”
Manohla Dargis from the New York Times writes “Mr. Gibney blends his ingredients—talking-head interviews, photographs, news reports, shots of a glittering, jewel-like New York—together in expert fashion, though much of it is familiar, including to readers of The New York Times, which, on March 10, 2008, broke the story that Mr. Spitzer had been linked to a prostitution ring. Two days later the governor—who as the state’s attorney general had overseen the 2004 bust of a prostitution ring—resigned from office.”
Kenneth Turan again writes “Made with the on-camera cooperation of Spitzer (though not his wife), it is a sad, disturbing and in some ways tragic tale that in its lurid combination of sex and politics, banal hypocrisy and bare-knuckles power, seems very much an American story of our times.”
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