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Secrecy


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Product Details

  • Actors: Thomas Blanton, Melissa Boyle Mahle
  • Directors: Peter Galison, Robb Moss
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: September 29, 2009
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001U9BRXO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #316,726 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Secrecy" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Relentless in its pursuit of the unvarnished truth, SECRECY shines a penetrating light into the dark, unseen world of government secrecy. This intelligent film takes measure of the tension between security and freedom, investigating whether press reports led to the death of American soldiers as well as exploring if secrecy led to horrendous human rights abuses in the War on Terror.

Through revealing interviews with a fascinating host of characters secrecy-adverse reporters; former CIA agents who experienced firsthand the deleterious effects of airing classified information; military attorneys defending accused terrorists; and everyday citizens whose lives have been touched by the government s most closely guarded programs SECRECY attempts to understand what degree of openness and transparency a democracy demands.

From the Manhattan Project to Abu Ghraib, habeas corpus to Osama bin Laden, directors Peter Galison and Robb Moss brilliantly dissect the way the power and allure of secrecy affects the course of history.


Special Features


  • Interview Outtakes; Extended Sequences; Extracted Stories; Audio Commentary; Filmmaker Biographies

Review

illuminates, entertains and inspires --The San Francisco Chronicle

exceptional...combines thoughtful interviews with an elegant visual look to produce an incisive examination of some of the key issues of our time --The Los Angeles Times

equal parts history lesson, meditative essay, didactic poem and call to arms. --The New York Times

Customer Reviews

A variety of perspectives is presented here, as well as useful information.
River of Books
There was hardly any "wow" factor that really made me think about how the government handles top secret material.
Gift Giver
Some of this secret information our government obtained was under very questionable circumstances.
T. Burns

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By trebe TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 14, 2012
Format: DVD
The recent history and evolution of the policies of the US Government regarding national security, covert operations, the gathering of intelligence, the treatment of prisoners, the dissemination of information, and the genesis of the policy of governmental secrecy, are among the subjects covered in the documentary Secrecy (2008). The film acknowledges some of the key events in American history that affected change in intelligence policy. These include World War II, the Manhattan Project, the Cold War, the formation of the CIA, the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and conflicts in the Middle East. Also discussed is the genesis of the State's Secret privilege, a legal means where evidence can be excluded from a case, if the Government provides statements that attest that nation security would be compromised.

The film consists primarily of interview clips with various individuals, including those involved in the intelligence field, former government officials, reporters, legal experts, and relatives of victims killed while conducting government business. While there are many opinions expressed, and some interesting and provocative subjects are explored, the somewhat unorganized way that the film jumps around between numerous subjects, isn't the most conducive to understanding the situation. Discussion of historical events, comments and opinions, personal experiences, and coverage of specific cases, are all mixed together.

A better approach might have been to lay a basic foundation, then focus on how the State's Secret privilege was established, and then move on to the various related subjects. While the material to do this effectively may not have been available, the producers certainly could have improved on the way the information is presented.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By River of Books on January 23, 2012
Format: DVD
A variety of perspectives is presented here, as well as useful information. I came away with a clearer sense of the intertwining issues, timelines, pressures, causes and outcomes that have led to the complex behemoth called government secrecy. The struggle presented in this documentary is where to draw the line between revelation and concealment and how to maintain a rational balance between the two. It isn't likely we'll ever reach a unanimous opinion in a country this size but we should all at least have a sense of the dynamics and what's at stake.

As others have pointed out, the information could have been organized in a more chronological manner. At the same time, the mosaic-like presentation made individual stories and pieces of information stand out more for me. An interesting documentary to pair with this one is Cheney's Law, which also involves the topic of secrecy.
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
I expected this documentary to be only about the costs of secrecy, but it's not. It's also not filled with action as it's just interviews and some background footage. For me this was very entertaining.

The people interviewed that "get it" about secrecy aren't advocating more or less secrecy, in general. They're discussing the needs, costs, options and human nature. I felt that I understood why the subject can be so morose. At the end of the day, there is no right balance and everything is a matter of character and courage.

I recommend this documentary to those that like thoughtful interviews and are interested in the issues related to government secrets.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Neph on July 2, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I loved the insight this film gives and how real it makes it. So much is going on and most of us don't bat an eye at it. Maybe one day people will listen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Reddy on June 24, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
With all of things we are finding out today about the government snooping on us this movie seems quite relevant!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Meno on March 14, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
That's the question this documentary asks as it shows you how secrecy began in the US government. Can it harm but is it also necessary? It's an important question that citizens should ask to decide what we ask of our government and what level of secrecy we can accept but also know when we need to demand transparency to avoid abuse of power.
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Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
There are a number of disturbing current trends in the USA and world too.
This is one of them.
To me, it's important to know what is going on with our government behind the political spin we hear all the time.
This documentary is well done, informative and entertaining.
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
Violation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights goes far beyond the NSA. NSA just happens to be the worst offender of late. We can release our fear and step back from the brink if we choose.
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