There’s a sense among some liberal-minded thinkers than Steve Bannon and the alt-right should never be given any kind of platform. The theory holds that starving them of any media oxygen will serve to relegate them back to the fringe status they once occupied. A similar idea, though with significant complications, drove the public outcry that toppled Bannon as the headliner of The New Yorker Festival.

Documentarian Errol Morris, no stranger to confronting powerfully bellicose men, calls BS on this theory in his latest documentary, American Dharma. He recognizes the danger in ignoring or downplaying figures like Bannon, knowing that the disdain only feeds their theory of victimization and increases their power. Like he did with Donald Rumsfeld in The Unknown Known, Morris engages his subject in a dialogue about their controversial work and beliefs. As the saying goes, give a man enough rope, and he’ll hang himself.

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