The mysterious year Hillary Clinton spent doing grunt work across Alaska in 1969 is the subject of an upcoming film, TheWrap has learned.
Writer-director team Magdalena Zyzak and Zachary Cotler have just finished the untitled project as a companion piece to their current South by Southwest Film Festival entry “A Critically Endangered Species.”
“It’s not a biopic; it’s about how politics makes you not real,” Cotler said of the film, which will focus on Clinton’s gap year between college and the start of her career.
The project is one of several in the works that revolve around Clinton, including the Black List script “Rodham” about the former presidential candidate’s days at Yale Law School, an upcoming HBO miniseries about her race against Donald Trump and and the new season of FX’s election-themed “American Horror Story.”
The narrative of her time in Alaska has been a go-to in Clinton stump speeches, one-on-ones with press and her general biographical narrative — specifically that she spent a year “sliming fish” in an Alaskan cannery, her husband President Bill Clinton said as recently as last year’s Democratic National Convention.
There has been some dispute about the veracity of Clinton’s adventure — there are no records of her employment at any fish factory in the state, despite the folksy stories of her scooping eggs out of “purple and black and yucky looking” fish.
There are records of Clinton and her Wellesley College pal Sandra Servaas working as dishwashers at the state’s Mt. McKinley Park Hotel.
Another iteration of the story said the fish job was the first (and likely only) workplace where Clinton was fired. The directors would not elaborate on what and how Clinton’s Alaskan adventure would be interpreted on-screen.
“It’s about the unreality of politicians,” Zyzak added. “It’s part of this diptych on female power.”
The first part would be “Critically Endangered Species,” which stars Lena Olin as a fading artist unhappy with the state of her contemporary work. In an NPR interview, Olin’s character reveals she’s planning her own suicide and is auditioning only young men to become executor of her estate. The handsome Alex Koch steps up to play one of those candidates.
Get TheWrap’s complete SXSW 2017 coverage here.