In Witness to Hope, his magisterial biography of Saint Pope John Paul II, George Weigel describes an incredible scene about art in defiance of tyranny involving the young future pope in 1941. Karol Wojtyla, then 21, had founded the Rhapsodic Theater, part of the Polish Cultural Resistance under German occupation. In Gift and Mystery, Pope John Paul wrote, “it was essential to keep these theatrical get-togethers secret; otherwise we risked serious punishment from the occupying forces, even deportation to the concentration camps.” The company had over 100 rehearsals and 22 performances of seven plays.
At one point when the company was rehearsing in Krakow, the sound of Nazi tanks could be heard approaching. As the sound got louder, Wojtyla kept raising his voice as he read dialogue from a scene. The sound of the tanks grew louder and louder, and the young actor met the clanging with his own powerful delivery. Finally, the tanks passed by, and Wojtyla calmly continued on with the scene.
There is an analogy to be made between this episode and “My Son Hunter,” a film that will be savaged by the media and the Left, who will try and smother it. Just as Karol Wojtyla would not be defeated by the sound of the tanks, the questions and facts raised by this film—questions that the media will try and shout down—are deeply disturbing and need to be addressed. Director Robert Davi, writer Brian Godawa, and producer Phelim McAleer all deserve credit for their bravery in bringing this film to the screen. This is genuine resistance, not the phony Hollywood brand.
“My Son Hunter” is a drama about Hunter Biden, the president’s son. The very existence of the film is remarkable, considering the censorious and socialist forces—including those in the media—that would love to see it shut down.
Of the questions the film raises, one of the most important has already been answered. Yes, Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop was real. He left it in a repair shop in Delaware in 2020, and it was full of shocking information about Hunter’s business deals and drug escapades. The media ran a disinformation campaign, ironically claiming that the laptop was a Russian disinformation opp. A horrible montage at the end of the film shows one cable news pundit after another lying about the origins of the laptop. This is a central focus of the film, zeroing in on questions about Hunter’s influence-peddling in China and Ukraine.
“My Son Hunter” is uneven as a film (the score is sometimes comic when it needs to be serious), but it is generally good and moving. This is particularly true when it focuses on the relationship between the two leads. Laurence Fox brilliantly plays Hunter, the boozing, womanizing, crack-huffing son of Barack Obama’s vice president. Emma Gojkovik is his love interest, Grace Anderson, a stripper who meets Hunter at a wild party but develops feelings and a kind of pity for the uncontrollable addict.
“It is full of true stories and dodgy dealing and corruption in some very strange places . . . in this case truth is stranger than fiction and it makes the movie all the more watchable,” producer Phelim McAleer told the Daily Mail when asked how much of the movie is based in truth. Screenwriter Brian Godawa said: “I drew dialogue from actual incidents or documents, transcripts or emails reported in the media as the base language of Hunter and Joe’s characters, many of them actual quoted lines. And many of them were taken from Hunter’s actual emails from his laptop. I drew from Hunter’s eulogy for his brother Beau for his own description of his relationship in the movie.”
That last part, about Beau, is key. One of the most touching scenes in “My Son Hunter” is when Hunter opens up to Grace about the losses he has suffered in his life—the death of his mother and sister in a 1972 car accident and then the loss of his brother Beau to brain cancer in 2015. This is a lot of trauma for one person, and Fox and Gojkovik play these scenes so beautifully that you almost feel sorry for Hunter. You also understand what so many addicts do—that behind so much of the crazy behavior is the frantic attempt to bury pain.
That said, for some of us, that meant drinking ourselves into a lost weekend, not making billion-dollar deals with foreign governments—or having a relationship with your dead brother’s surviving wife. One scene explores the genesis of Hunter’s board seat on Burisma Holdings LLC, a Ukrainian natural gas company, by introducing former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and his Minister of Natural Resources Mykola Zlochevsky, who co-founded Burisma. After talking about their need to forge connections with the U.S. government through then-Vice President Joe Biden, Zlochevsky and his associate are dramatized discussing with Hunter his role on the board while they all three are having sex with prostitutes. “I believe that my assistance and consulting with Bursima over matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility will benefit both the economy and the people of Ukraine,” Hunter says as he, uh, takes care of business.
Gojkovik is just wonderful in her role as Grace, the moral core of the movie. She goes from simply doing an unpleasant prostitute’s job to dating Hunter to slowly realizing that the Biden family is corrupt—and that the press should know about it. In one depressing scene, Grace meets with a reporter to give him information from the laptop, only to have this independent thinker from the fourth estate promptly and forcefully tell her that there is no way he is going to pursue the story of the Bidens. It’s not exactly “All the President’s Men.” Dejected but knowing that she wants to salvage her soul, Grace walks away and back to her father, a lawyer who opens his arms to the daughter who got involved with the wrong crowd.
Finally, special mention should go to John James, who plays Joseph Robinette Biden, the nasty, crooked, and demented leader of these United States. From his hair-sniffing to his tall tales about Corn Pop to his smug cockiness about the media being corrupt and in his pocket, it’s a very funny and all-too-real performance. Hollywood needs more people with the courage of the crew who made “My Son Hunter.” This film deserves your support.