Eugene Jarecki’s documentary on Ronald Reagan debuts Monday and — so far — it’s easily avoiding the controversies that surrounded History’s ReelzChannel’s Kennedys project. The film is earning praise for being even-handed in its portrayal of the president, and Jarecki says the content will surprise many Americans.

“One of the great myths about Reagan was that he was an amicable dunce — a guy that floated his years throughout the White House and was just the puppet of smarter men,” he told Fox News. “That could not be farther from the truth from what I saw.”

Here’s an exclusive first-look trailer of the film, culled from its emotional opening moments.