Secrecy | Documentary Review

by Ramon G
(Pheonix, AZ)

When should the U.S. government keep secret information? Is it justified to keep information out of the public eye? How can secret information, held by the U.S. government be used against the American people? What legal rights to administrative officials have to withhold information? What moral obligation is being heeded by keeping the general population ignorant? Does secrecy, for national security sake, actual provide a safe nation? Can secrets be misused?

All of these questions are asked in the documentary Secrecy.

This as a good film. Maybe because I'm a bit of a conspiracy thinker. I don't automatically trust what my government, my church, a business or a friend tells me. I know that people and organizations lie. And to give any organization my complete faith is dangerous. I don't want to be a sheep simply herded along. Now, not everything is a lie. And therein lies the genius of lies. The devil mixes truths with his lies. And so do good people.

This film helps to explain that secrets, held by too few, led to 9/11 because all of the information was kept in the hands of only a few people. The answers were there if only the government allowed people to share information and to better understand their role in the overall mission to protect America. Had agencies been allowed to share information more freely, the dots could have been connected and 9/11 avoided. The U.S.government had everything needed to prevent 9/11 but those that had access to this information were inundated with too much information.

"Secrecy" makes the point that secrets are used to control others and to provide power to those that are informed. In the end, some secrets need to be kept secret. Nobody, in this film at least, argued that all information should be laid out and dissected. But the film does argue that secrecy leads to more secrecy and more secrecy leads to mistrust and mistrust leads to revolt and societal degradation: which is why the secrets were held in the first place, to keep the public calm and moving along.

Through archival footage and interviews with ex CIA-types this film paints a picture that some leaders and agencies in American history actually caused more harm than good by keeping information private. Under the guise of national security the price of peanuts can be kept secret, as an example.

While well written, this film does not employ a high production value. Which, to me is OK. It led me to believe the producers were more concerned about the story and less concerned about graphics. That's what a good documentary should focus on: information and the story.

Secrecy Documentary Trailer

Secrecy Documentary Review

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Jan 30, 2012
my rating
by: Ramon

I give this film Secrecy 3 out of 5 stars for its subject matter, in-depth reporting and relevance to my daily life.

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