Jamie Meltzer USA / 2012 / 81 minutes East Coast Premiere
Times and Venues:
This captivating and complex film tells the story of Brandon Darby, a charismatic grassroots activist turned vilified FBI informant. Beginning in the wreckage of post-Katrina New Orleans, where Darby and others founded a radical grassroots organization, director Jamie Meltzer brings us inside the mind of a man who sacrificed almost everything do what he felt was right.
Darby’s work with the FBI is checkered with tragic turns, including mysterious deaths and accusations of entrapment. Wrapped up in Darby’s collaboration with the FBI were two young men he met in the lead-up to the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, whose interaction with Darby led to their arrest and imprisonment. Did the FBI take advantage of a confused and paranoid man? Was it Darby’s own ideas that led to the arrest of the two young activists? Or was this man doing right by himself and his country? Meltzer’s fascinating film takes no sides and gives no easy answers. With perspectives from both Darby and those he betrayed, Informant is a complex and heartfelt exploration of political ideologies, government priorities and human realities in a world where you never know who you can trust. –David Becker
Jamie Meltzer’s feature documentary films have been broadcast nationally on PBS and have screened at numerous film festivals worldwide. They include "Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story" (Independent Lens, 2003) about the shadowy world of song-poems, Welcome to Nollywood, an investigation into the wildly successful Nigerian movie industry (PBS broadcast, 2008) and "La Caminata," a recent short film about a small town in Mexico that runs a simulated border crossing as a tourist attraction, screened at Silverdocs and True/False, among others. Mr. Meltzer teaches in the Documentary Film and Video M.F.A. Program at Stanford University.
Cast/Featuring: Brandon Darby, Scott Crow, Lisa Fithian, Caroline Heldman, Michael May, David Hanners
Executive Producer(s): Adam Spielberg
Producer(s): George Rush, Stephen Bannatyne
Director(s): Jamie Meltzer
Cinematographer(s): Frazer Bradshaw
Editor(s): Jamie Meltzer, John Kane, Summers Henderson
Composer(s)/Music: T. Griffin
Sound Designer(s): Dan Olmsted/Berkeley Sound Artists
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