Director – Tina Satter – 2023 – US – Cert. 12a – 83m
A young woman working in US security services is questioned in her home by two FBI interrogators who believe she’s leaked classified documents to The Intercept – out in UK and Irish cinemas on Friday, June 2nd
This film is based on a true story. That commonly used phrase can encompass everything from attempts at verisimilitude through to extreme misrepresentation. This film, however, is something different from most films bearing that legend.
The true story on which this film is based is an interview of a woman by two FBI agents. That organisation’s protocols dictate that such incidents, planned ahead of their execution, must be recorded in transcription form. So the film is not based on the incident so much as it is based on the official transcript of it. That includes not only the verbal words, but also pauses or gaps on the parts of those speaking them.
Writer-director Satter was hooked by the transcript and has already turned it into the critically acclaimed Broadway play Is This A Room. Theatre and cinema, while they often share certain elements, are essentially two different media; a successful play has an immediate attraction to movie producers who believe its proven theatrical track record will sell cinema tickets, yet the cinema is littered with stagebound adaptation of plays which worked far better on stage than screen.… Read the rest