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Secrecy -- With homeland security and the war on terror becoming increasingly important issues, the U.S. government has grown more and more secretive, allegedly to protect the country and save lives. But is this culture of secrets at odds with democracy? This documentary examines both the pros and cons of government concealment by focusing on classified secrets and the arguments the government makes in the name of national security.


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Release Date:
12 September 2008 (USA) See more »
Amidst the American hunger for instantaneous news and up-to-date "facts," this unflinching film uncovers the vast, invisible world of government secrecy. | Add synopsis »
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Very Important Documentary that deserves a Wider Audience See more (6 total) »


Steven Aftergood ... Himself - Government Secrecy Project, Federation of American Scientists
Thomas Blanton ... Himself
James Bruce ... Himself - Senior Executive Officer, CIA, 1981-2005
Steven Garfinkel ... Himself - Director, 1978-2001, U.S. Information Security Oversight Office
Barton Gellman ... Himself - Reporter, Special Projects, The Washington Post
Sig Hecker ... Himself - Director, 1986-1997, Los Alamos National Lab
Neal Katyal ... Himself
Mike Levin ... Himself - Chief, Information Policy, National Security Agency, 1947-1993
Judy Palya Loether ... Herself - Father, Al Palya died in 'Reynolds' crash
Melissa Boyle Mahle ... Herself

Dan Rather ... Himself (archive footage)
Patricia Reynolds ... Herself - Widow of Robert Reynolds
Charles Swift ... Himself - Lt. Cmdr., U.S. Navy JAG Attorney for Plaintiff, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld

Ben Wizner ... Himself - Attorney for Plaintiff, El-Masri v. United States

Directed by
Peter Galison 
Robb Moss 
Produced by
Dan Cogan .... supervising producer
Jim Swartz .... co-executive producer
Original Music by
John Kusiak 
Cinematography by
Austin de Beche (director of photography)
Stephen McCarthy (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Chyld King 
Art Department
Elaine J. McCarthy .... background design
Sound Department
Coll Anderson .... supervising sound re-recording mixer
Mark Filip .... sound designer
Trent Richmond .... dialogue editor
Matt Snedecor .... assistant sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Joseph Christofori .... assistant camera
Phil Darrell .... gaffer
Tom Doran .... key grip
Brant Fagan .... steadicam
Music Department
P. Andrew Willis .... composer: additional music
Other crew
Caitlin Boyle .... associate producer
Maud Dillingham .... production assistant
Rich Remsberg .... archival researcher
Anne Stulz .... publicist
Linda Morgenstern .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
85 min
Sound Mix:


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17 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Very Important Documentary that deserves a Wider Audience, 9 March 2008
Author: JustCuriosity from Austin, TX, United States

Secrecy is an excellent political documentary that delves into the complex arena of secrecy in American government. It explores the fascinating history how and why secrecy policies developed through the Cold War and how they have now been adapted to the War on Terror. The film simultaneously explores the inter-related issues of keeping government secrets from the public and the less commented-upon problem of intra-governmental secrecy that prevented intelligence agencies from cooperating before 9/11. Unlike so many political films, this is a balanced presentation that brings in a variety experts with different and nuanced points of view. It doesn't dumb down its discussion to the lowest level of discourse. It explores the role of both the government and the media and their complex dance with each other. It is enjoyable and professional and reminds the viewer of the type of program put together by PBS's first rate series, Frontline. The film would be an excellent one to adapt for use in high school and college political science classrooms. It explores a complex and inherently difficult issue without being didactic or conspiratorial. At the same time, it manages to entertain. This film is recommended to everyone who wants to better understand their government.

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