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Sundance 2019 Film Review: “The Report” (2019) ★★★★★


9/11 has been the most shocking terrorist attack on American soil till date. To have that date erased from our memory won’t be that easy, unless we have a chip implanted inside our brain to dictate what to store and what to delete. And to just think about what intelligence agencies went through day and night from that moment is unimaginable. That attack has taken many lives, but failed to dismantle what truly makes America so great.

Senate staffer Daniel Jones (Adam Driver) is assigned by Senator Dianne Feinstein the task to write a report about enhanced interrogation techniques used by CIA to gather intel from the detained. After completing his report that provides detailed information on illegal, brutal, and immoral tortures conducted on the detained, the White House and CIA begin their battle to do everything possible to block the report from being released.

This film, thankfully to clever editing by Greg O`Bryant and flawless direction by Scott Z. Burns, takes the viewer back and forth between 2001 and the time when the report gets released. It provides detailed overview about the torturing processes such as waterboarding and how in some cases the detained lost their lives. As the film provides overwhelming information on that reality which happened inside of CIA, the stellar cast including Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Morrison, Michael C. Hall, Maura Tierney, Ted Levine, Corey Stoll, and Dominic Fumusa ensure that you won’t be alone as you begin processing all the information you receive minute by minute. 

The bottom line is, “The Report” is a powerful political thriller that reminds people that not every country can conduct such investigations, to work on such a crucial report, and go against the government. Indeed, CIA did violate the rights of the detained, went beyond the imagination to use interrogation methods deemed as inhumane. But because of the check-and-balance system placed in America, be sure that reports like these will keep on coming from this country rather from any other. And the fact that Jones had a chance but did not leak the report to the press proves that there is always a way to do the right thing, and being a traitor is not one of them.

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