Articles by

<Steve Macfarlane>

04/29/15 9:15am

democrats tribeca

Directed by Camilla Nielsson

Imagine every hackneyed adjective ever dropped in praise of a thriller: taut, riveting, bravua, gripping, pulse-pounding, hard-boiled, a roller coaster of emotion—it is hard not to lavish them all on Camilla Nielsson’s Democrats, winner of the festival’s top documentary prize. What’s easy is assuming the film’s title is a simple ironic inversion, as Nielsson and her crew step into a decisive turn in Zimbabwean politics, following Robert Mugabe’s 2008 reelection as President—the fifth of its kind, in one of the most blatantly stolen elections of the last 10 years. While Mugabe’s iron-fisted Zanu-PF party runs the government from one end of the country to the other, the ancient dictator is met with enough international pressure, rendered in one of Nielsson’s handy transitional edits as a succession of shrugging and finger-wagging Western heads of state, to form a “coalition government,” with challenger Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement For Democratic Change (MDC).


04/23/15 12:08pm

necktie youth

Taking place on the precipice of a hazy, drugged-out South African upper crust wherein Mandela is written off as a fluke, filmmaker Sibs Shongwe-La Mer’s debut Necktie Youth spans a single day in the lives of a gaggle of rich kids in Sandton, a posh suburb north of Johannesburg. Youth is a work concerned with both the post-apartheid generation and its painfully complicated self-image, but the filmmaker’s approach appears uniquely collaborative. Comparisons between the 23-year-old director’s film and the work of Bret Easton Ellis have been tendered, as well as Larry Clark’s Kids —I would add to that list Dazed and Confused, the improv-intensive set pieces of the younger Spike Lee, and Doug Liman’s Go.

I arrive to interview Shongwe-La Mer at a chic hotel in the Financial District, and he introduces me to his entourage: lead actors Bonko Cosmo Khoza and Colleen Balchin, and director of photography Chuanne Blofield. As the five of us settle into what I had mistakenly thought would be a one-on-one, the mood is convivial, rambunctious, shit-talking. Forever playing catchup, I ask Shongwe-La Mer to clarify that Youth is without distribution—to which he replies, “No. We have distribution: we’re playing 23 cinemas in South Africa and coming out on same-day VOD. Also playing Brazil, France and the Netherlands. But, yes—we’re seeking US distribution desperately. Write us a puff piece!” Then, lowering his voice: “I mean… you wouldn’t be interviewing us if the film was shit, right?”


04/22/15 6:47am
Image courtesy of The Film Collaborative

From Tribeca’s estimable documentary lineup, Lyric Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe’s (T)ERROR was at the tippity top of my to-see list—and the film did not disappoint. Following FBI informant Saeed Torres as he’s dispatched to Pittsburgh for the purposes of slowly winning over and entrapping a jihadist sympathizer, the doc—which plays at the festival on April 23 and 24, New Jersey’s Montclair Film Festival in early May, and New York’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival in June, and is currently without distribution—is as much a concurrent journalistic coup as it is a riveting moviegoing experience. It’s beyond-commonplace to say a nonfiction film will live or die on the strength of its “characters”—which is to say, the access forged by the filmmakers and their onscreen participants. But good luck imagining a bigger get than Cabral and Sutcliffe’s, which started when the former lived upstairs from Torres in Harlem, utterly unaware of his double-agent status. As she explained to me: “He was living on the ground level of a three-floor brownstone; I was on the top floor. Something told me this man was very intriguing—I would smell pot, I would hear James Brown and Gil-Scott Heron, I could tell he was an old man trapped in another time. My instinct was, you should try and get to know him.”

Cabral and Torres hit it off; he told her he worked for the Legal Aid Society, and she saw him leave the brownstone every day dressed in suit and tie. “He always had ready access to cash, he’d go pick up a thousand dollars at the corner and give it to people, he always had a lot of drugs—pounds of marijuana, pounds of cocaine—and two cellphones. I was in school, I wasn’t trying to put any of the pieces together.” Eventually, Torres introduced Cabral to a jazz bassist named Tarik Shah, only to disappear shortly thereafter. “There was no furniture—no FOR RENT sign, no indication of any kind that anyone had ever lived there. I get a call from him and he tells me, ‘If anyone comes looking for me, don’t give them any information—get their information for me!’” Later that summer, Cabral visited Torres in South Carolina, where he disclosed to her for the first time that he was an FBI informant working on counterterrorism cases. The day Torres moved out, Shah—a bookseller, freelance martial arts instructor and alleged terrorist sympathizer—was arrested on charges of conspiring to provide material support to Al Qaeda.

Sutcliffe’s prior film Adama followed a sixteen-year-old girl identified as a potential terrorist by the FBI; she was held in a maximum-security prison for six weeks before her father was deported, and she was subsequently saddled with an ankle bracelet and FBI-imposed curfew. “I spent six years filming her and her family going through this process,” Sutcliffe told me, “and at the same time I’m learning more and more about these absurd counterterrorism cases. Going to the trials and noticing how many of them are built on informants—someone going in, becoming friends with someone, manipulating them and encouraging them to get ‘involved’ in some sort of plot. It’s a fascinating story: what kind of double-consciousness are these informants operating under?” Following that film (available in its 55-minute entirety on Sutcliffe’s Vimeo page), Sutcliffe and Cabral set about developing what would become (T)ERROR.

“When David told me he wanted to make a film about these programs,” Cabral said, “that’s the first time I felt comfortable enough to share that I actually knew an informant.” In the beginning, the filmmakers even considered a version of the film made without Torres’ face: “His greatest fears were, one: The government would know what he was doing, and two: He was afraid of repercussions from the people whose lives he’s kind of disrupted. Our argument was, ‘This is your swan song—there’s no way you’re gonna continue working with the FBI after this film comes out.’ The reason he even agreed to do it was, after the Tarik Shah case, people identified him in court. He was exposed—and that’s when he became less valuable to the FBI.”

Torres ultimately appears a man haunted by phantoms of normalcy, whose life trajectory is dotted with bad decisions (left largely unexplained in the film) and agonizing compromises. (When Cabral asks him when he was first approached by the FBI, Torres spits back: “They ‘approached’ me when they arrested me!”) In terms of managing audience sympathies, Cabral describes the film’s portrayal of Torres as a hard juggle: “It was important to offer that context of his past, so you could see where he started and where he’s ended up. The tragedy of this man when he was young: He had just come back from Vietnam, comes into Harlem, in the throes of revolution, and finds his way into the Black Panther party. At one point, he was very anti-American, committed to destroying the system, finding a new way… So to go from that to working wholeheartedly on behalf of the government, being a foot soldier in the war on terror?”

Torres comes off ostensibly proud of his contributions to national security and yet exasperated by his handlers’ blundering strategy, repeatedly insisting that his latest target, a portly white Muslim convert named Khalifah al-Akili, is utterly harmless. Torres is seen following text-message prompts from his FBI handlers in subsequent texts to Khalifah, but soon grows overbearing and—in what almost appears to be a social media-mediated generational misstep—extends an over-solicitous hand to Khalifah. But the fundamental plot twist takes place behind the camera: Following a Facebook post wherein Khalifah suspects the FBI is following him, Cabral and Sutcliffe begin filming interviews with both Khalifah and Torres, each party unaware the other is participating in the same documentary.

Cabral describes the in-retrospect editing process as decisive in making the film what it is today. “It was important to us not to villainize Torres; he’s someone different to each target, and so it’s important to capture the variety of his characters, the fact he can shift at any moment. To understand Khalifah’s case, you need the charisma of the informant that enables him to get in the car, to have these months of conversations with this man. Khalifah’s not a crazy person; there’s something about Saeed that’s appealing when he’s working. That’s his job: get you to confess, or participate in criminal activity.” Sutcliffe agrees: “A lot of credit goes to our editor for her commitment to preserving and structuring our film so we never lost sight of Torres. She was fully aware that once we meet Khalifah and hear his version of events, the audience is gonna turn on Saeed. And to mitigate that reversal, we continued to show both men as pawns in the same system. It’s not always a conscious process—you develop a feeling for what makes the most sense for the story.”

“Typically,” Cabral says, “the end of the road for FBI informants is the Witness Protection Program. As someone who’s worked for them for 25 years, that was offered to him, to change his identity and move to an undisclosed location, under the radar. I think for him, going on the record and exposing himself is the antithesis of Witness Protection. It is offering him a new road…Now that his story is out there, he’s hoping there’ll maybe be interest in a book deal, things like that.” So does that mean Saeed is comfortable in the spotlight? According to Cabral, “He’s as socially isolated as the film portrays. So I think part of this was like therapy: He honestly enjoyed talking to us because he wants to tell his story. It’s also therapeutic because he doesn’t really have that opportunity.” Asked how he was possibly expected to preserve neutrality, Sutcliffe notes with a laugh: “The only time I felt like Torres was asking our opinion was when he asked if we thought the film would do well.”

03/25/15 8:29am
photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Directed by Susanne Bier
Opens March 27 at the Landmark Sunshine

Why did it have to come to this, Serena? The version of Susanne Bier’s Depression-era psychodrama released in theaters this week—by the barest of all possible minimums—is a guaranteed studio ribbon-job, the evidence on display suggesting each and every extremity shaved down to a nub. The picture is as indebted to the attractions of the Hollywood period melodrama as they come, pairing Bradley Cooper as George Pemberton, a dopey lumber prospector, and Jennifer Lawrence as his eponymous, power-mad young wife. Bier’s heretofore touch with actors glistens through some of the blemished passages, but the casting (rumored to have torpedoed the postproduction process, as Cooper and Lawrence became megastars and 2929 Productions duly pressured Bier to make a different film) is hardly inspired: Lawrence and Cooper’s performances manage the odd feat of canceling each other out, with the leading man cycling through different accents as if still demo-ing for the job, while Lawrence is relegated to a bland, pretty, tear-streaked widescreen visage.

The screenplay betrays a certain occasional appreciation for the esoterica of North Carolina history, but every shred of nuance finds itself at eternal odds with the outsize nature of the material. Bier has alleged that Serena was supposed to be a film about a woman suffering from a mental illness, but what she represents here is a childhood trauma and/or curse that’s (naturally) the key to her siren-like irresistibility, while George is manifest destiny writ sociopathic. Much of Serena consists of watching two attractive people make cataclysmically stupid decisions, torn asunder by psychosexual pressures left out of the patchwork man-meets-girl narrative. The film’s endeavors to get viewers to take George and Serena seriously—wherein their expository courtship is essentially a transitional montage, threaded with nocturnal sex scenes—can’t help but backfire from start to finish. The most entrancing thing Serena has going for it are its bookending vistas of mist-soaked mountains, ensconcing all the film’s whooping-and-hollering within an unknowable folk legend, the same way future cinephiles will look back and wonder: “Man, just what the hell went wrong with Serena?”

03/25/15 7:57am
photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

White God
Directed by Kornél Mundruczó
Opens March 27

Taking more than one cue from the George Lucas “Just strangle a kitten!” school of tension-building, Kornél Mundruczó’s Un Certain Regard-winner White God straddles studio-canvas tentpole filmmaking with remarkable assuredness. The film winks on occasion in naturalism’s direction (albeit a more Greengrassian type than Bressonian, despite White God having received many comparisons for animal suffering, I guess, with Au Hasard Balthazar). The plot follows Lila (Zsófia Psotta), a preteen girl coping with her parents’ divorce in a gloomy, permanently overcast Budapest, and her friendship with—and inevitable separation from—her Mom’s dutiful mutt Hagen. A special tax on “mongrels” (mixed-breed dogs) sees Lila’s father summarily kicking the animal to the curb; his lack of awareness of what makes Lila happy sure sucks the dramatic air out of their myriad later scenes, with him angrily trying to communicate with her. If Hagen is Lila’s reason to live, she’s lucky to even know that, while the dog is meanwhile adopted by derelicts and mobsters, soon drugged into training as a prizefighter.

This is a movie pitched directly at kid-level reasoning, even if the savagery of its grown-ups is for adults’ eyes only. In White God’s inevitable narrative cul-de-sac of separation and reunion, Hagen losing his sense of compassion and, for a time, being “broken” is its most intriguing passage; whenever these savage beatings and starved nights are intercut with Lila storming out of her junior orchestra classroom or being led around by an unmistakably abusive older boy, the film dilutes itself by half. If the canine rebellion—with unleashed dogs flooding the city’s abandoned boulevards, leaping through the air, punching their human masters in the face with their own faces—comprised more than about ten minutes of its runtime, Mundruczó’s Disney-grade screenwriting would ring less obvious. That the film is a parable for illegal immigration (a tectonic issue in contemporary Hungarian politics) can’t excuse its heavy-handedness; in many ways, it makes it an even further-missed opportunity.

01/28/15 10:34am

Director Abderrahmane Sissako on the set of TIMBUKTU.  Courtesy

In April 2012, jihadists identifying themselves as both Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Ansar Dine (“Defenders of the Faith”) seized the Malian city of Timbuktu, which they held hostage for another ten months. Although Timbuktu was eventually retaken by soldiers from France, Mali and Chad a little over a year later, the city—population, 54,000—hasn’t been the same, with tourism cratering, construction contracts frozen, and basic day-to-day prices having skyrocketed. Malian-Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako dramatizes the takeover in his spellbinding Timbuktu, but the setting is kept vague: the film takes place in one of the many smaller villages in northern Mali, gently underscoring that the same vulnerabilities apply to towns shorn of the capital city’s mythic melting-pot reputation. Sissako’s film offers a quiet rebuttal against Western stereotyping of Islamic terror: the kalashnikov-wielding invaders hail from all over the Arabian Peninsula, led by a Libyan who doesn’t even speak any of the local languages and must resort to third-hand English translation(!) to enforce his warped, makeshift idea of sharia. The contradictions of itinerant jihad may be on full display, but Sissako’s aim is less point-scoring than a docudrama both world-weary and ironic.

The film—which is having a surprisingly good box office run in France—could not come at a more appropriate time. In saying that, I’m not referencing the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, but rather the latest round of attacks in northeastern Nigeria, in which over two thousand innocent people were massacred by Boko Haram—an event whose coverage in the Western media has been muted at best. As much a cautionary tale as an ensemble act of remembrance, Timbuktu is a much-needed corrective to the numbers game that is Western awarness of Islamofascism; the fear of death comes to Sissako’s desert village not in one fell swoop but in a steady, granular trickle, with the all-too-exploitable geopolitics of the broader situation in Mali kept at a cool-headed remove. The most tragic of events—including the stoning of an unmarried couple, which Sissako claims inspired his first draft—are made all the more devastating for their sobriety of vision, but Sissako’s eye also refuses to flinch before quotidian moments of beauty, however snuffed out they become—giving a stronger imprint, ultimately, to what is lost rather than how it is taken.

I spoke with Sissako following the film’s US premiere at last fall’s New York Film Festival; our conversation is below. When it bows in NYC today, you’ll have no problem looking past—or to use Sissako’s term, “beyond”—facile qualifiers like “world cinema”, and seeing Timbuktu merely for what it is: a masterpiece of anti-sensationalism.

Special thanks to interpreter Ellen Sowcheck for making this interview possible.


01/14/15 12:03pm
Photo courtesy of Strand Releasing


Salvation Army
Directed by Abdellah Taïa
Opens January 23 at The Film Society of Lincoln Center


Whatever the breakthrough status of Abdellah Taïa’s Salvation Army—touted as Morocco’s first queer coming-of-age story—the picture’s emotional wallop arises from its startlingly minimalist notion of cinematic memory. This is a movie with nary a pan, no tracks and no zooms, and yet it plays the opposite of sclerotic, highlighting the way a passing, unremarked-upon moment in life can become an internal turning point. In adapting his autobiographical novel of same name, Taïa’s screenplay spends its first half excavating a dust-caked teenage summer, only to leap forward ten years for the second—peering with uncertainty at the man Taïa’s protagonist Abdellah (played by Said Mirini as a teenager, and Karim Ait M’Hand as an adult) has become. Before embarking on an awkward vacation with his magnetic older brother Slimane (Amine Ennaji), young Abdellah’s days in his claustrophobic hometown are spent being passed from one older man to the next—pained encounters captured with an unflinching, voyeuristic clarity. Even here, Taïa’s staging is against formula, keeping the frame awash in panoramic ambience; if these are traumas, their depiction in hindsight is nervewrackingly cold.


12/03/14 4:00am
Photo courtesy of Lionsgate


Dying of the Light
Directed by “Paul Schrader”
Opens December 5

Take heed: this is a hellacious Lionsgate cut of a screenplay originally written and shot by Paul Schrader, who was reportedly muscled out in the editing process. (Dying Of The Light was originally slated to star Harrison Ford and Channing Tatum, with Nicolas Winding Refn directing—a pitch utterly alien to the material on display here.) It stars Nicolas Cage as Evan Lake, an alcoholic CIA spook on the lonely hunt for Muhammad Banir (Alexander Karim), a jihadist who tortured him in Lebanon in the 1990s. Opening Schrader’s screenplay, the episode is capped when a team of SEALs intervene to save Lake and somehow managing to not kill Banir, the first of many coverups which exude probable mystery only to turn out to be, indeed, plot holes. (Lake fails to impress Banir’s importance on his gladhanding, careerist superiors, and the movie offers zero evidence they’re wrong.) He takes matters into his own hands shortly after being diagnosed with a migraine-inducing frontal dementia, tracing Banir from Virginia to Romania and finally Kenya.

In his vision of the ongoing secret wars hypocritically shuttered from the public eye, Schrader finds heft in artful wide compositions and claustrophobic blocking. When Lake visits the Director’s office, the blinds are lowered, simultaneously a metaphor for his tenuous grasp on reality and a shoutout to the halcyon days of noir, and indeed Cage’s unhinged characterization makes a tiny bit more sense as a War On Terror callback to the drunken, Sisyphean private dicks of yesteryear. His bouts of amnesia impede the quest fitfully, sabotaging every suspenseful turn on the path to Banir’s hideout—it’s like William Bendix’s shellshock in the 1946 The Blue Dahlia, written by Raymond Chandler. There’s no reason a simmering airport-novel-grade thriller couldn’t be shorn from the footage included here, but this edit—credited to Tim Silano, although it’s unlikely, given that he resuscitated Schrader’s similarly rejected cut of an Exorcist prequel—looks and feels like a freezing cold mess. It attempts to turn dead expository passages into pulse-pounding action montages, aborts scenes at what feels like halfway and bludgeons the viewer with a desolate TV-movie score.

The aforementioned scene with the Director becomes Lake’s last stand, gnashing his teeth at America’s most powerful spy: “Who’s got their hand in your pocket now? […] You’ve got your head so far up Obama’s ass you can’t see anything except his shit anymore! Shame on you!(It’s an instant addition to the Cage athenaeum of showstopping, spit-flecking diatribes.) There are repeated hints of Lake’s warping ideology—he obsesses over Banir because he is a “true believer”—that wink in the direction of a bigger subtextual idea, but the cheapness of scenography and the sludgy, artless editing don’t feel much like Schrader (or anybody worth paying attention to). Recall Light Sleeper, a stolid Schrader potboiler with only one substantial—but unforgettable—action scene. Envisioning a director’s cut of Dying of the Light, the optimistic cineaste can only assume they’re here seeing the worst takes of the worst lines of an otherwise intelligent screenplay, which recedes into the backdrop as the film lurches forward and wearily peters out.

10/08/14 4:00am

Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu

Cinephiles can breathe a collective sigh of relief: Birdman presents a set of problems wholly distinct from the ones bedeviling Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s earlier work, equally as saturated in dynamic images and cuts as in—there’s just no other word for it—dumbass pontifications about fate and destiny. Birdman’s script follows Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), a former movie star who’s writing, directing and starring in a Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” No mere has-been content to sign autographs at fan expos, Riggan struggles to maintain a passable connection with his daughter Sam (Emma Stone), faces a lawsuit after one of his leads gets hit by a falling spotlight, and finds out out he’s impregnated one of his actresses (Andrea Riseborough). Each day leading up to the premiere is an emasculating forge, with theater-world bad boy Mike Shiner (a delirious Edward Norton) selling tickets while also threatening to torpedo the overall production. (When Riggan finds out Mike is drinking real gin onstage, he swaps it out for water—to which Mike throws one of many temper tantrums, bellowing, “Does anybody here give a shit about truth except for me!?”)

To top it off, Riggan is also suffering from schizophrenia, finding it harder and harder to ignore a voice in his head that seems to materialize at every moment of self-doubt. It turns out the low-rumbling voice belongs to Birdman, a leather-bodysuit-clad superhero Riggan played in a trilogy of summer blockbusters back in the 80s and 90s. Riggan’s pingponging—from crippling pessimism to bemused relief to genuine compassion, and back again—makes for a full-bodied, vintage Keaton performance a la Clean And Sober, but Iñárritu is obviously up to something pretty special even outside this bit of epic meta-casting. The film matches its antihero’s frothing tonal jumble by means of some bizarrely long takes, superbly orchestrated by Iñárritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. Unlike Lubezki’s greenscreen-incubated long takes in Gravity, the majority of Birdman takes place in the tangible environs of the James Theater—so the camera will hang behind Riggan as he ambles from his dressing room down to the wardrobe department, out to the alley outside, around to the bar next door, and so on. Unwinding in close-to-real time, the scenes are caulked together with Rope-like transitions that are, like so much of Birdman, rather unafraid of betraying their own artifice.

The screenplay can be mawkish—especially whenever somebody speaks on the movie-land version of social media—but the film seeps visual information from all pores. Iñárritu’s scenes are arrayed with a beautiful touch for self-distraction: Riggan steps outside for a cigarette during a preview performance, and gets his bathrobe stuck in a door, simultaneously ratcheting up tensions both comedic and spacial-temporal (to get back in, he’ll have to run around the block in his underwear), emotional (because this is his last show before opening night) and cultural (because everyone on the street will recognize him). If the camerawork feels like a stunt, that’s because maybe all “bravura” takes are stunts: at their best, these ones render the dialogue comparatively cheap and every development for Riggan lands with a lingering, ineffable uncertainty. What it adds up to—a mental-health satire, a comment on the moviegoer’s eternally shrinking attention span, a farcical diorama of the New York theater world—is probably less than the sum of its parts, but goddamn if they’re not thrilling to behold. At its best moments, you’ll wish Birdman would never end.

Opens October 17

09/11/14 4:00am

The Green Prince
Directed by Nadav Schirman

It’s no surprise that a documentary about a Hamas leader’s teenage son and his serpentine friendship with a Shin Bet handler is squealing from every one of its pores to be a blockbuster thriller. Filmmaker Nadav Schirman ditches the wider Israel-Palestine conflict to zero in on the informant career of one Mosab Hassan Yousef, whose considerable remorse is leavened by the thrill of collaborating with his heretofore enemies&#8212which Schirman plays up almost salaciously. The matching fascination with Mosab’s interrogator Gonen Ben Yitzhak makes for a weird meet-cute behind enemy lines, drunk on the situation’s incipient contradictions and stitched together in sometimes-cornball faux-surveillance footage. When Schirman has real video corroboration of the events discussed by his antiheroes, it’s dyed green in postproduction to match the aforementioned&#8212including aerial footage shots either too impossibly perfect to be real, or so blurry and information-free they recall Colin Powell’s WMD presentation to the UN. The resultant spectre of an all-seeing official Israeli eye documenting every single twist as it goes down is, if not a form of propaganda, at least unsettling in its implications.

All this unleashes a bland pattern of edits and cross-edits: the director tweaks the narrative’s visual scope as need be to match the words being spoken by Mosab and Gonen, who not once acknowledge the corresponding visuals. As they’re Schirman’s only interviewees, extra stress is placed on the importance of verbal testimony&#8212but the film is less convincing than it needs to be. Mosab’s excitement at his double life becomes a clearer character point than his reasons for turning, grinning nervously as he recounts events that led to him and his father being arrested at the end of the Second Intifada. Mosab becomes an informer first because he is arrested with guns in the trunk of his car, but claims he stayed with Shin Bet to prevent innocent Israelis from being killed in suicide bombings. The problem isn’t that his decision was right or wrong&#8212it’s that his rationale is established in realist political terms: his allegiance is not explored as a historical curiosity, but as a given. Culminating in Gonen’s intervention to secure political asylum for Yousef in the United States, their friendship is drawn as a wet-eyed triumph of cross-cultural understanding&#8212a tempting possibility, were it not also a collaboration of intelligence between a terrorist organization and the military wing of a U.S.-backed government.

Opens September 12