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This documentary feature takes an in-depth look at the rapid rise and dramatic fall of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. Nicknamed "The Sheriff of Wall Street," when he was NY's Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer prosecuted crimes by America’s largest financial institutions and some of the most powerful executives in the country. After his election as Governor, with the largest margin in the state's history, many believed Spitzer was on his way to becoming the nation's first Jewish President. Then, shockingly, Spitzer’s meteoric rise turned into a precipitous fall when the New York Times revealed that Spitzer - the paragon of rectitude - had been caught seeing prostitutes. As his powerful enemies gloated, his supporters questioned the timing of it all: as the Sheriff fell, so did the financial markets, in a cataclysm that threatened to unravel the global economy. With unique access to the escort world as well as friends, colleagues and enemies of the ex-Governor (many of whom have come forward for the first time) the film explores the hidden contours of this tale of hubris, sex, and power.
The fascinating documentary Client 9 has all the qualities of a Hollywood thriller: money, sex, and the destructive power of unbridled hubris. Eliot Spitzer had a meteoric rise as the aggressively progressive attorney general of New York State, gaining headlines and popularity for pursuing white-collar crime involving some astoundingly wealthy people and imposing regulatory reform on Wall Street. His success led him to become governor of New York--where his dictatorial style rubbed other politicians the wrong way. Could the enemies he made in the business and political worlds have had anything to do with the revelations that Spitzer patronized the Emperors Club VIP, a high-priced prostitution ring? Client 9 praises Spitzer's substantial achievements but doesn't turn a blind eye to his weaknesses and failures. The interviews--with Spitzer's enemies, escorts he'd hired, Emperors Club employees, and Spitzer himself--create a complex portrait of Spitzer and his career, as well as spinning out the suspense as revelations and investigations lead to catastrophe. However dubious Spitzer's moral juggling may have been, in the wake of the financial crisis, his Wall Street reforms--most of which were dismantled after his fall--now seem not merely prudent, but practically psychic. An engaging and illuminating movie. --Bret Fetzer