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Romney watches 'MITT' but provides no critique of film

| Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, 8:00 p.m.

PARK CITY, Utah — Mitt Romney surprised filmgoers when he showed up for the Salt Lake City premiere of “MITT,” the documentary that tracks his run for the presidency. But he declined to share what he thought about the movie afterward, even with the filmmaker.

“If he hated it, I don't know if he's going to tell me,” director Greg Whiteley said. “He's nice, and he and (his wife) Ann are gracious. I wonder what they really think.”

Whiteley followed the Romney family for six years: from the Massachusetts governor's first attempt for the Republican nomination in 2006 to his run against President Obama in 2012. Whiteley said the Sundance Film Festival premiere on Friday was the Romneys' first look at the film, which will debut on Friday on Netflix.

Whiteley said he long admired the Romneys because, as a Mormon, he had heard of George Romney while growing up.

“What Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax is to young Jewish kids probably is what George Romney was to me,” Whiteley said. “When I heard that Mitt Romney was running for president, I had just finished my second film and it occurred to me that might make a great movie.”

Intimate footage shows his moments of confidence and doubt and the emotional toll the campaign took on his family.

Romney comes off as warm and likable, but the director said that wasn't the goal of the film.

“I had no agenda in trying to make him look good,” Whiteley said. “I had no agenda in trying to convince people to vote for him.”

He describes the film as “very apolitical.”

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