Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes


Mary D. Fisher Theatre Mon, Jan 21 7:00 PM
Mary D. Fisher Theatre Tue, Jan 22 7:00 PM
Mary D. Fisher Theatre Wed, Jan 23 4:00 PM
Film Info
Event Type:Documentary Feature
Release Year:2018
Run Time:107 minutes
Production Country:United States
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Alexis Bloom


You can do anything when you stop at nothing.

“Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes” deftly fuses the personal, the political and the just plain surreal as it charts the origin, rise and downfall of Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. Variously called a bulldog, a kingmaker, and the Ernest Hemingway of campaign advisors, Ailes was the wizard of Oz. But he collected talent like dolls, and became consumed by paranoia about his own personal security. “I think Roger thought he could control the little genie in the bottle,” said former Fox News personality Glenn Beck. “But he couldn’t.”

The son of a factory foreman, Ailes had a hand in political campaigns in almost every state in the country. He was a key advisor over the last half century to presidents Nixon, Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He was drawn to winners, and loved to be in their sphere — whether a small-town councilman in Cold Spring, New York, or the president of the United States. When President Obama called him “the most powerful man in media” he basked in the glow, and posed smiling alongside the Democratic president he had done everything to undermine.

Ailes fashioned Fox News into a ratings powerhouse, with more viewers than all its direct competitors, combined. But he was forced out by the Murdoch family in 2016, amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment. He was eventually locked out of his own building, unable to collect his belongings. Ailes died in May 2017 at the age of 77.

How did a tap-dancing hemophiliac become one of the most powerful and divisive executives in American media? As one of his oldest friends says, “the opposite of death, is desire. And because Roger feared his own death, he desired. Mightily.”

“Impressive and absorbing. You leave ‘Divide and Conquer’ energized and incensed.” — Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times

“Gripping. We feel we’ve never really fully understood the man and his powerful influence on America’s political landscape until now.” — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“Meticulous and highly watchable. ‘Divide and Conquer’ offers useful lessons — and maybe even a little hope — for people on both sides of the national divide, about just how we came to this terrible, but not irreversible, place.” — Michael O’Sullivan, The Washington Post

“One of the best documentaries of the year.” — Jason Bailey, Flavor Wire