The Report (Burns, 2019):USA

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Actor Adam Driver picks up right where he left off with his role in BlacKkKlansman as Flip Zimmerman with his portrayal of Senatorial staffer Daniel Jones in The Report, a dramatic, investigative, political thriller based on actual events. The actual events depicted in the film were conducted under the auspices of the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s operation of a post 9/11 Detention and Interrogation Program. Staffer Jones begins investigating the program and discovers subversion of law, destruction of evidentiary materials and encounters stonewalling from the nation’s highest intelligence agency in their attempts to conceal the interrogation program results.

The film has a feel of a thrilling and riveting docu-drama similar to All the President’s Men with the ominous dark undertone reminiscent of the Parallax View.  Notwithstanding, the buffoon-like portrayal of the  $80 million program directors, psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jensen, is quite disturbing and immediately brings to mind the New York City (NYC) Mayor’s Office and the NYC Police Department coerced confessions of the Central Park Five. Burns became inspired to make the film after reading a 2007 Vanity Fair article by Katherine Eban detailing how Mitchell and Jensen became the architects of the country’s enhanced interrogation movement under the George H. Bush Administration.

Annette Bening portrays United States Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) in Scott Burns’ THE REPORT. (Photo Credit
Atsushi Nishijima)

But, it’s Adam Driver as Daniel Jones in a Frank Serpico-like performance that makes The Report work. Having John Hamm in the mix as Denis McDonough, President Obama’s National Security Council’s chief of Strategic Communication, adds a powerful element to the story’s setting. Annette Bening delivers an uncanny likeness and seems to channel United States Senator Diane Feinstein, (D-Calif.). Maura Tierney, Sarah Goldberg, Ted Levine and Matthew Rhys help round out a strong ensemble cast assembled by Avy Kaufman. Meanwhile, Production Designer Ethan Tobman, creates a realistic set conducive to the suspension of disbelief.

And, it’s Jones’ relentless pursuit of the truth that is most inspiring as Jones spends years uncovering and defending what is right. What results is a nearly 7000-page classified (still to this day) report and the longest investigation in the history of the United States Senate. What’s more mind-boggling is that few Americans are aware of it. Instead learning from what happened in the program’s, the nation’s deep state apparatus hid, stonewalled and redacted any criminal wrongdoing of the program’s sadistic directors and violated the American people’s trust which leaves the viewer to wonder and question if our democracy is broken beyond repair.

Jon Hamm portrays Denis McDonough in Scott Burns’ THE REPORT. (Photo Credit
Atsushi Nishijima

The film is slated to be released into theatres on November 15th, 2019, and will be screening during the 50th Anniversary of the Nashville Film Festival, Oct0ber 3rd through October 12, 2019, in Nashville, Tennessee. The Report is an Amazon Studios Original film, written and directed by Scott Z. Burns with a run time of 118 minutes. The story seemed unfinished…….and it is. Simply because the American people were held in the dark due to national security until now. The Report shines a bright light – illuminating power and exposing the truth. A “must-see” film!

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