Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb. The film takes place in the mid-1990s, when Webb uncovered the CIA's past role in importing huge amounts of cocaine into the U.S. that was ...
See full summary »
Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb. The film takes place in the mid-1990s, when Webb uncovered the CIA's past role in importing huge amounts of cocaine into the U.S. that was aggressively sold in ghettos across the country to raise money for the Nicaraguan Contras' rebel army. Despite enormous pressure not to, Webb chose to pursue the story and went public with his evidence, publishing the series "Dark Alliance". As a result he experienced a vicious smear campaign fueled by the CIA. At that point Webb found himself defending his integrity, his family, and his life.Written by
Milena Joy Morris
To get at the true story while also firmly placing it in a narrative context, screenwriter Peter Landesman had contacted source author Nick Schou before the latter's book was even published. Landesman began work on the script in 2006, culling material from the film's two source books, but also from his own research. Landesman recounted: "I was an investigative journalist for The New York Times Magazine for many years, and I came to realize that there are some stories that are simply just too true to tell; Gary Webb wanted to do his job and expose a corruption the government didn't want exposed, and the public, ultimately, was uncomfortable knowing. "This screenplay became a personal mission for me. Gary's not succumbing to personal and professional pressure to walk away from what he'd discovered, and the price he paid for holding his ground, is a cautionary tale among professional investigative reporters. Also, I had a similar experience with a 2005 Times Magazine cover story on sex trafficking and slavery that caused a similar firestorm. The difference was that the story, and I, were ultimately vindicated. Gary was a heroic, complicated, flawed man I could relate and connect to. His story needed to be a movie." Schou remarked: "As a former journalist, Peter had his own sources who could weigh in on all of this. But I made myself available to him to answer any questions he had about things I published, and things I hadn't published." See more »
In the beginning of the film, it is dated as 1996. Later, when Gary is washing his motorcycle in the parking lot of the apartment complex, the tags on his bike show Oct '95. See more »
Public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.
For nearly a year, I have been devoting increasing attention to a problem which strikes at the very heart of our national well-being: Drug abuse.
I did not condone any drug abuse, and we'll do everything possible to reduce this serious threat to our society.
Drugs are menacing our society. They're threatening our values and ...
[...] See more »
Just before the closing credits, there is a short video showing the real Gary Webb at home with his children. See more »
"Kill the Messenger" is both a very gripping film and an important film. Even though I know what our government was up to in those days (as if things have changed), I could hardly breathe, anticipating what would come next in the movie. My only concern about the film is the speculation that those who are ignorant of what occurred in those days would grasp that the money from drug sales went to buy weapons (it was almost glossed over). The acting in this film is superb, with one exception (the person who played Coral Baca--way overdone and not convincing). Knowing that the film is based on true events gives it amazing heft. I think it's an unforgettable portrayal of how our government can go astray--it's history but also a warning for those of us who have been demoralized by the current state of politics and who tend to trust certain names in the media. The film should be required viewing by every member of Congress, by every high school student, by those who call themselves journalists.
111 of 122 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this