America prides itself as being ‘the land of the free, and the home of the brave’ and yet when it comes to exposing government cover-ups and corruption freedom of speech is often a long way away. There have been a number of high-profile whistleblowers already this century, the most famous being Edward Snowden, but they’re not treated like heroes. Far from it. They’re usually either imprisoned or have to flee the country and seek asylum on foreign soil.
This is the case with Reality Winner. The former US ‘Airman’ worked in intelligence and was assigned to the drone program. After receiving an honourable discharge, she worked for a small company which was contracted to provide services to the National Security Agency (NSA). It was while working for Pluribus that she was arrested for leaking a confidential document to The Intercept. United States Vs. Reality Winner tells the story surrounding her arrest and continued incarceration.
On the face of it these events might seem like a simple and straightforward crime, but as United States Vs. Reality Winner plays out it becomes increasingly obvious that justice is not the primary concern of the authorities. Using the audio recording of her interrogation alongside interviews with family and supporters, Sonia Kennebeck pieces together a story which highlights the abuses of power in government agencies and questions the modern definition of patriot.
United States Vs. Reality Winner screens at CPH:DOX.