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Film Editorial

report19.jpg The Report

Director: Scott Z. Burn

Stars: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Corey Stoll, Jon Hamm, Douglas Hodge

Rendered in the suitably blue and grey palette of a 70s conspiracy thriller, this involving drama documents the investigation into the post-9/11 torture programme conducted by the CIA. Driver is Daniel Jones, a member of the U.S. Select Committee on Intelligence, chosen by his senator boss (Bening) to lead an investigation into the euphemistically named ‘advanced torture techniques’. This involves Jones and his small team relocating to a dank basement and combing over some six million documents – the tapes had been destroyed. Flashbacks illustrate the brutal interrogations carried out by Dr Jim Mitchell (Hodge) a chancer psychologist for a contracting company who, it is unearthed, had never actually conducted an interrogation before. Inevitably once Jones’ report has been completed, there is a resistance to publishing. The ever-essential Driver is skilful enough a performer that his studious character is never a mere audience exposition device, in a film which eschews displays of emotive indignation in favour of a clear-sighted and meticulous but no less righteous examination of events. Writer-director Burns’ script exhibits a commendable even-handedness too with Obama’s Democrats, despite their denunciation of torture techniques, proving obstinate too.