Tuesday 24 August 2021
An average American family becomes entangled in a bizarre web of espionage and corporate secrets when their hacker son is targeted by the U.S. government.
Sonia Kennebeck, who has made whistleblower documentaries her specialty, from “National Bird,” on drone whistleblowers including Daniel Hale, to “United States vs Reality Winner,” has a new film out, “Enemies of the State,” on the story of Matt DeHart. Viewers are invited to join Kennebeck’s investigation into the bizarre case of Matt DeHart, a former member of the US air national guard who worked on the drone programme. He played online games, joined the “hactivist” group Anonymous and was an alleged courier for the whistleblower site WikiLeaks.
“It’s a film about the truth, or how to seek the truth, in a world where we have so much contradicting information and secrets, and narratives that are spreading so quickly over the internet and over social media.”
“postmodern documentary in that it shows its own working, like the inside-out Pompidou Centre in Paris or Martin Amis putting a character called Martin Amis in his novel Money. We join Kennebeck in following the trail of crumbs and share her uncertainty about where it will lead.”
The somber truth at the heart of Kennebeck’s films is not just that agencies like the FBI or NSA operate according to their own logic of secret governance; it’s that the problems they produce might be insoluble. As Matt DeHart’s father suggests, there is practically nowhere a person can go to protect himself from the United States—unless he has the bizarre misfortune, as Edward Snowden did, to end up stuck in the Moscow airport, passport canceled, while in flight from American authorities. There is no easy escape from the watchful gaze and political influence of a globe-straddling empire.
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