Sarah Palin hasn't committed to running for president--or even finishing her bus tour of primary states--and she hasn't held elected office for almost two years. So why are her supporters so devoted to her--some driving from as far away as Dallas to just be near her when her biopic premiered in Pella, Iowa, Tuesday night? The opening of her movie helps explain it. The Undefeated begins with a Passion play-esque montage of celebrities cruelly mocking Sarah Palin and her family. The heavily-bleeped footage includes a comedian using graphic language to describe how she gave birth to a "retard." The segment closes with a verse from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount: "By their fruits ye shall know them." Spoiler: Palin triumphs over evil. That whole is-she-running-or-isn't-she thing is sort of beside the point.
Palin's martyrdom at the hands of Hollywood liberals and the press was "inspirational" to Carmen Reitsma, a 60-year-old Iowan and local Republican leader, as she explained to the Des Moines Register's Reid Forgrave. "I regard it as a spiritual battle. She's a strong Christian and makes no apologies. There are those who are very threatened by that." After Palin's suffering, the film shows how she overcame it with "dramatic imagery," The Atlantic's Josh Green explains, including "volcanoes, earthquakes, snipers, ferocious lions, and clip after clip of Palin fighting back against her sundry enemies."