Essential Intrigue
18+ (exemption)
2015 (80mins)
Dir: Lyric R. Cabral, David Felix Sutcliffe


There’s few documentaries that capture the thrill of the procedural chase and wrap the great power of digital cinema into a story befitting of the likes of James Ellroy. Thin Blue Line and The Imposter are two that spring to mind - and now we have this supercharged and troubling addition.

There’s more double-crossing going on in this big-screen documentary than the noir classic Double Indemnity as we go deep undercover with an FBI informant working to identify potential terrorist activity. The only issue is that the FBI don’t know their informant has invited a camera crew into his life to document the whole process. And he’s not the only one in the same story to have done the same thing with the same crew.

We’ve got wiretaps and secret phone conversations. We’ve got clandestine meetings with the FBI. We’ve got infiltration into community and other groups and we’ve got wild assumptions and heresay that somehow morph into fact.

What we ultimately get though is a worrying look at the compromises we are prepared to make in the name of security, how easily those compromises are made and how dangerous the results can be for those involved.

One of the best documentaries of 2015 - NEWSWEEK