Film: Secrecy

(Netflix both instant and DVD, on reserve at Ayala Library)

From the filmmaker: “This film is about the vast, invisible world of government secrecy. By focusing on classified secrets, the government’s ability to put information out of sight if it would harm national security, Secrecy explores the tensions between our safety as a nation, and our ability to function as a democracy.”

At the end of your documentary review, connecting the film to course content, please address these questions.

1.    How can secrecy help to make a nation more secure? Use example from the film to support your answer.

2.    How can secrecy make a nation less secure? Use example from the film to support your answer.

3.    Why is a free press important to a democracy? Use example from the film to support your answer.

4.    How can a free press make a nation more secure? Use example from the film to support your answer.

5.    How can free press endanger national security? Use example from the film to support your answer.

6.    What is the constitutional principle of separation of power?

7.    What do the Reynolds and Hamdan cases (seen in the film) have to do with separation of powers?

8.    What is the film’s point of view about secrecy? Give evidence to support your answer.

9.    Do you agree with this point of view? Explain why or why not.

10.    This film moves back and forth from one story to the next, sometimes stopping almost mid-thought in one story to discuss another, only to come back to the first story later on. Why do you think the filmmakers chose to do this? What effect does this have on you, as the audience?

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