‹We know that the mix, dark-suited people who run the government can sometimes be villains. But it's easy to forget that people in government can also be heroic.
Making stories about those people can be challenged as entertainment, but Scott Burns "" The Report "manages to do just that, dramatize in deliberate, thoughtful chapters the investigation into America's shameful descent into torture after 9/11
The film debuted on Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival.
Dan Staffer Dan Jones, played by Adam Driver is just as worthy of note. He's been fully immersed in mountains of evidence, seeking the truth of what the CIA did, and why. After writing a 7,000 page report and a 400-page summary that the CIA is redily edited, it is published to the public.
The film brings to life the antiseptic term "enhanced interrogation techniques," colloquially known as torture , which we now know the Bush Administration made legal with a special memo after the 9/11 terrorist attack sent the country and government into panic mode.
The threading of the legal needle is referred to frequently in the film as dependent on the result of the interrogation. If it works to get information that saves lives and if it does not confer "severe" and "permanent" physical damage, it is legal.
"It's only legal if it works" is repeated several times in the film. And the problem was… it didn't work.
The film depicts these acts: water-boarding, chaining detainees to the wall or the floor in "stress positions," depriving them of sleep while blasting heavy metal music at impossible decibels
Even when the person on the receiving end is the 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, it withers the soul.
It turns out we, our democracy, did this for four years and all along failed to extract meaningful intelligence through this process. George W. Bush, film narrates, was informed of the EIT practices in 2006.
Feinstein repeatedly confronts not only John Brennan's CIA director, but Barack Obama's chief of staff Denis McDonough (Jon Hamm)
KSM was water-boarded 183 times, according to the movie. In a moment of devastating understatement, Brennan asks why it would have been necessary if the procedure worked.
Burns along with the entire cast was present at the premiere, and so was Dan Jones himself. Driver was asked during the Q&A he took away from playing Jones:
"Dan Jones is you who are in a position somewhere, against the odds, being given responsibility," he said. “Those are the people you love are hidden in a foundation in government, with moral conviction as their guiding force. It's easy to lose faith in institutions. So I'm proud to be part of counting that story. ”
The movie is for sale.
"Native Son "
Renowned African-American history and culture visual artist Rashid Johnson and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks craft a contemporary reworking of Richard Wright's 1940 novel, bringing its interrogation of fear, violence, race and circumstance into a critical modern context. A24 is the distributor.
Hot off his awards run for "BlairKlansman," Adam Driver is back in "The Report" alongside Jon Hamm, Jennifer Morrison and Maura Tierney. The film, directed by Scott Z. Burns, follows CIA agents and their interrogation tactics in the quest to find those behind the 9/11 attacks.