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UNITED STATES VS. REALITY WINNER

Sonia Kennebeck / United States / 2021 / 94 min / International Premiere
A courageous decision turned the whistleblower Reality Winner into an enemy of the people in Trump’s USA. A drama about right and wrong, where democracy is at stake.

Her unusual name took on a whole new meaning when the 25-year-old whistleblower Reality Winner decided to leak a confidential document to the press and was called out as an enemy of the people by the Trump administration. Perhaps because the paper documented the involvement of Russian hackers in the US election that brought Trump himself to power. Winner, who was an Air Force veteran and an employee of the NSA, was arrested by the FBI in her home in Georgia in 2017, on suspicion of having leaked the document to the news outlet The Intercept. In a flawed process with heavy token-political overtones, the young woman was sentenced to a historically long punishment under a more than 100-year-old espionage law, in spite of the fact that she basically defended US democracy against an outside enemy. The case of the United States versus Winner is a political drama about right and wrong, with an upright woman in the involuntary lead role. But the case also rips open the ethical dilemmas that journalists and civilians can suddenly risk being torn into. In the meantime, Winner’s mother is fighting to get her out of prison, with Edward Snowden and Thomas Drake as passionate supporters.