by James Spione
What happened to the man who exposed waterboarding? And what are the consequences of making public such illegal intelligence-gathering techniques by the U.S. government? In this revealing documentary, three prominent whistle-blowers explain how everything changed radically after 9/11. John Kiriakou (former CIA), Thomas Drake (former NSA) and Jesselyn Radack (lawyer and former ethics consultant to the American Department of Justice) talk candidly to filmmaker James Spione about their “leaks”: how they made public the illegal, even criminal practices of their own government, facing a choice between career and conscience that put their very lives at risk. Following their revelations they were fired, isolated, cast into a financial abyss or even tried and incarcerated. The stories of these whistle-blowers are told through interviews, excerpts from appearances in the media, official documents and reenacted scenes. Tense as a John le Carré thriller, this documentary by Oscar® nominee Spione (Incident in New Baghdad, 2011) shows how the worldview of this courageous trio changed forever. In the words of John Kiriakou, “I’m not sure anymore who the good guys are.”
Directed by James Spione
Produced by Daniel J. Chalfen and James Spione
Executive Producers: Jim Butterworth, Philippa Kowarsky, Thomas Morgan, Susan Sarandon, Charlie Annenberg Weingarten
Edited by James Spione
Director of Photography: John Molinelli
Original Score by Emile Menasché
DIRECTOR - JAMES SPIONE
Academy Award® nominee James Spione has been an independent director and producer for over thirty years. His documentary work has been broadcast in the United States and around the world, and is available on multiple digital platforms worldwide including Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, Vudu and Xbox. Mr. Spione’s film about national security whistleblowers, Silenced, was nominated in 2016 for a News and Documentary Emmy® Award, and his short Incident in New Baghdad was nominated for a 2012 Oscar. His work has screened at numerous prestigious international film festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, AFI, HotDocs, IDFA, Seattle, Camden, Boulder, Movies that Matter, Cleveland and London among many others.
TRIBECA 2014〡HOT DOCS 2014〡AFI DOCS 2014〡CAMDEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2014〡IDFA 2014〡BIG SKY 2015〡SEDONA 2015〡CLEVELAND 2015〡MOVIES THAT MATTER 2015〡BIOGRAFILM 2015
“Silenced is a compelling, suspenseful, and intelligent movie with a clear objective that it achieves: to inform the public about the harsh treatment of government whistleblowers.”
“Hard-hitting, alarming... James Spione’s superb Silenced describes the Obama-era prosecution of whistleblowers as leakers and even potentially terrorists.”
– Pat Aufderheide, Documentary Magazine
“A remarkable documentary.”
- Democracy Now!