Looking at Dick Cheney Through the Camera's Lens

Filmmaker R.J. Cutler discusses why he wasn't interested in vilifying the former vice president.


"The World According to Dick Cheney" opens a window into the life and times of the former vice president.

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When you were talking to him did it seem like he was at peace with his legacy?

There seems to me to be some inherent contradictions. For instance, he's very certain that he doesn't care what people think—what he says in the film a number of times is, fundamentally, "I don't care what people think." One of the specific things he says is, "If you want to be loved, go be a movie star." At the same time, he is saying that to a man who is making a movie about him. There's inherent contradiction and I believe that is consistent with who he is. Does he believe that he did what he did and he doesn't care what anybody thinks about it, or does he want to see history as having vindicated him?

What are some of the important lessons in the film for current and future political leaders?

We need men and women of conviction to make our democracy function. Conviction is the engine of a successful documentary. But unbridled conviction, unopposed conviction has, I believe, other and significant implications for democracy as well.

"The World According to Dick Cheney" premieres Friday, March 15 at 9 p.m. on Showtime.

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