Review: The Two Popes

Review: The Report

We Chicks both saw The Report at the Middleburg Film Festival last month. We were both fans of this political thriller that should be seen widely, and agreed that its audience may be limited by the subject matter. And that’s unfortunate, because it’s an important story, extremely well done, that could very well change hearts and minds about a very dark moment in our country’s all too recent past.

Here’s what Mainstream Chick had to say about it: Another day, another dose of the awesome Adam Driver! It’s weird watching a rather serious film at 9:30 am on a Saturday morning, but The Report is its own sort of wake-up call. It’s a political thriller based on actual events surrounding a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into the CIA’s ‘Detention and Interrogation’ (i.e. torture) Program in the aftermath of 9/11. Driver plays idealistic staffer Daniel Jones, who spent years putting together a controversial, still largely-classified 6,700 page report for his boss, Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening). It’s Zero Dark Thirty, inside the Beltway; an interesting story that preaches to the choir. Unfortunately, those who really should see it probably won’t.

And here’s my (Arty Chick) take: My second Adam Driver film was one of my top festival picks. It’s the story of the Senate investigation into the use of torture during the Bush II administration, and a damning portrait of the CIA’s insistence on using of a slew of what they called “enhanced interrogation” techniques to extract information in the name of keeping us safe. Daniel Jones (Driver) is tasked by Senator Feinstein (Annette Bening) to find out what happened when the tapes of an interrogation were “accidentally” destroyed. Jones and his researchers spent five years doggedly hunting down information, a lot of which was being illegally withheld by the CIA. One of the most outrageous parts of the whole film was that the psychologists who came up with the program had zero credentials that would make them experts in interrogation and seemed to be flying by the seat of their pants, making millions as their techniques produced no actionable intel whatsoever. And on the other side, the people who were being tortured may not have been in any position to give them anything anyway. This film should be seen by a lot of people who still aren’t sure if we should torture our enemies. It’s one of those films that will most likely be preaching to the choir and that’s a damned shame. Great performances and an important story.

So go and see it, and take some friends. This film needs to be seen!

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