Actor Sean Penn’s new documentary, Superpower, came out on September 18th. It is currently available on Paramount+. Penn hoped the documentary would be a turning point for Americans. He wanted it to act as a closer look into a war fueled by one man’s desire to overturn democracy as one knows it.
Co-directed by Penn and Aaron Kaufman, the film features Penn’s undying support for the war in Ukraine. It is also a celebration of Zelenskiy as the leader of Ukraine. It also notes his becoming a president after being a comedian. According to the Guardian, Penn describes the president as “the embodiment of [a] hope” that he had been looking for, especially in the direness of a war that no one in Ukraine wanted.
In the trailer, Penn tries to tell Americans of the price a country has to pay to find overall freedom. With this, Penn interviews Ukrainian veterans who fought against the invasion of Crimea in 2014. The trailer then shows a widow who lost her husband in the siege of Maidan along with children, teachers, homeless people, musicians and politicians. Given military recruiting is still ongoing, Penn manages to get a closer look at the process, not excluding female recruits. The documentary was a challenge to film. Penn and his crew had to make seven trips over to the country to make it possible. Though, in the end, the trip seemed worth it.
While directing five other films, winning two Academy Awards, and publishing a novel, Penn has become a prominent activist. He’s been speaking out against former Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump, as well as giving aid to victims of Hurricane Katrina. He even went as far as lending one of his Oscars to Zelenskiy, telling the Guardian, “it was a symbolic silly thing.” Regardless, he asked Zelenskiy to return it after Ukraine won.