The Reality of the Movie Reality Explained

The Reality of the Movie Reality Explained
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The Reality of the Movie Reality Explained. In June, 2017, FBI agents arrived at the home of Reality Winner (coolest name ever), to serve her with a search warrant. And when they did, they started an audio recording. And it is this audio recording that this film’s screenplay comes from. Word for word. It’s the simple playing out of this audio file. That’s it. That’s the movie. And it is ambivalently fantastic.

I have never seen a movie literally follow an audio transcript of an event verbatim. Such a wild concept. So, in as much as it was a brilliant new idea, and a small budget, closed box film to boot? I was all in. Now, here’s the thing, the politics of this movie are complicated. You will come to the movie through your own lens, and the film doesn’t try to change that. So if you came in to the movie blind, but hate whistleblowers? Congratulations… you get to continue thinking that way. Do you think whistleblowers are vital to checks and balances on government? Great, you get to be indignant at the end of this film. But personally? I think there is something else going on, that goes well beyond the audio track here. But let’s see shall we?

What is the Reality of Reality:

Here’s the problem with the movie Reality… no one realizes what is going on. So, to attempt to rectify this situation, I decided we’d walk back through the events surrounding the audio of the movie. OK? So let’s walk through it together…

Reality, determined to utilize her Top Secret clearance after being discharged from the Air Force, picks up a job with Pluribus International Corp. in order to translate Persian docs about Iran’s aerospace program. While translating, she discovered the NSA document detailing Russia’s attempt at phishing election officials leading into Donald Trump’s 2016 successful election campaign. She told 60 Minutes that the reason that she leaked the classified documents was because she believed that America was being lied to intentionally. They were being lied to about Russia’s active measures to change the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election.

On June 3, 2017, when FBI agents arrived at Reality’s home, Winner did not request the presence of a lawyer, and the agents neglected to inform her of her Miranda rights upon her arrest. I mean, you watched the movie which was a word for word retelling of the recorded audio, did you hear them Miranda her? Neither did I. Then, later, during the search of her house and initial questioning, Winner mentioned that she did not intend to be like Snowden.

The Department of Justice publicly announced Winner’s arrest on June 5. She was taken into custody even before The Intercept published the article that was based on the leaked information. The Intercept’s report detailed Russian military efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election by hacking a U.S. voting software supplier and sending spear-phishing emails to over 100 local election officials shortly before the November 8 election. The story relied on a top secret NSA document dated May 5, 2017, which had been anonymously leaked to The Intercept.

Following her arrest, Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, called on the public to support Winner and offered a $10,000 reward for information about a reporter from The Intercept who allegedly assisted the U.S. government in identifying Winner as the source of the leak. Assange expressed on Twitter that “Winner is no Clapper or Petraeus with ‘elite immunity.’ She’s a young woman against the wall for talking to the press.”

How Was Reality Caught?

It was the The Intercept that screwed up and caused the FBI to hone in on Reality. After receiving the documents, they mailed them to the NSA for verification. The NSA contacted the FBI, and from there, an FBI report called out the fact that the documents were folded and creased… which means, the docs were printed, and physically taken from a secure area. After doing an audit, the FBI realized that only 6 people had accessed the documents. But, it only Reality’s station that had also communicated with the Intercept via a personal email account. A few days later, the FBI got a warrant to sift through Reality’s electronic accounts. And after which, they discovered that it had to have been Reality Winner who had to have leaked the information.

Now, to make matters much worse for Reality, The Intercept printed the documents Reality sent them… as is. There were no redactions… they printed the printer tracking dots, and it was because of these details that Reality was really up a creek without a paddle. Glenn Greenwald, the head of The Intercept even admitted their failures in the handling of the information.

Reality the Film:

Reality Winner is played by Sydney Sweeney, who you know from The Handmaid’s Tale, Sharp Objects, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, etc. And her counterpart is Josh Hamilton… the lead FBI agent. The visual sparring of these two characters is really intriguing. And the way the film cuts back and forth between the interrogation, and the audio file, and back again is really unique. It keeps the viewer moored to the reality (hahah, unintentional, I swear) of the situation. The gravitas of what is happening.

And as the film started, Reality played everything so atypically. In such a chill way, that I just assumed that there was some sort of massive misunderstanding. But as it comes out more about who Reality is, that she has a top secret clearance, and that she has actually stuffed a Top Secret document in her pantyhose, and absconded with it only to send it off to The Intercept, we, the audience can feel nothing but shock. What? Reality was so cool, calm and collected about the whole thing. She couldn’t possibly be a traitor to the country, could she? And as the movie ends, we find out that she received the longest sentence for espionage in the history of the country.

Where do you stand on Reality? After you watch the film, one thing is certain. You have an opinion. Is it that she should be left in prison for life? Or that she shouldn’t have spent a single day there? Everyone that learns about Reality Winner, gets exposed to this wild story, comes away with an opinion. What do you think? Tell us in the comments.

Edited by: CY