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Reality

Whistleblower Reality Winner is arrested in 2017: she forwarded an NSA analysis of possible Russian influence on the 2016 US presidential election to The Intercept magazine. A breath-taking film based on the FBI’s interrogation transcripts.

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On June 2017, translator and US Air Force Veteran Reality Winner is interrogated in her home by the FBI and ultimately arrested on suspicion of leaking classified documents. The then 26 year old women forwarded an intelligence analysis of the NSA about possible Russian interference in the 2016 US elections to the magazine “The Intercept.“

Before REALITY became a feature film, it was the material of a play called “Is This a Room,“ and before it was a play, it was an FBI document. Tina Satter, the director of the Broadway drama and the film, adheres to the transcript of the June 2017 interrogation. A very tight corset for the screenplay and production which only helps REALITY in developing dramaturgical and political explosiveness, producing depth and breath-taking tension. It is the convergence of the banal with the very threatening which creates disturbing moments between Reality Winner and the two FBI men. When small talk about Crossfit or animal shelter dogs and matters of national security bump up against each other, it is the title and name of the protagonist in the truest sense - reality, irreplaceable by fiction.

It is all carried by an outstanding performance by Sydney Sweeney as Winner, always oscillating between military seriousness and suppressed nervousness, and Satter’s sensitively adding the right dose of poetic imagery. The debut film marches unwaveringly through the 80 pages of interrogation transcripts, including censored passages which are represented using glitch effects. Along with the in-depth character study, it is nothing less than a deep look at the inner life of contemporary US America.

Christopher Suss (INDIEKINO MAGAZIN)

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

USA 2023, 85 min
Language: English
Genre: Drama, Psychodrama
Director: Tina Satter
Author: James Paul Dallas, Tina Satter
DOP: Paul Yee
Montage: Ron Dulin, Jennifer Vecchiarello
Music: Nathan Micay
Distributor: Plaion Pictures
Cast: Sydney Sweeney, Josh Hamilton, Marchánt Davis
Release: 08.02.2024

Website

Screenings

  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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