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Informant is a fascinating, gripping portrait of Brandon Darby, a radical activist turned FBI informant, who has been alternately vilified and deified. In 2005, Darby became an overnight hero when he traveled to Katrina-devastated New Orleans and braved toxic floodwaters to rescue a friend stranded in the Ninth Ward. Soon after, he co-founded Common Ground, a successful grassroots relief organization. But over the next few years, he began hiding a shocking secret. After two young protestors were arrested at the 2008 Republican National Convention, Darby revealed he had been instrumental in the indictment as an FBI informant. The only film with access to Darby since his public confession, Informant meticulously constructs a picture of his life — before and after the death threats — through interviews and tense reenactments starring Darby himself. Darby’s version of events is accompanied — and often contradicted — by evidence from acquaintances and expert commentators on various points along the political spectrum, posing complicated questions about trust and the nature of reality.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 19
- Fresh: 17
- Rotten: 2
- Average Rating: 6.8/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: If his methods don't come off smoothly, Mr. Meltzer's conclusion does leave you feeling that even the whole story would be cold comfort for those involved.
Fresh: It's an absorbing puzzle with the potential to intrigue viewers all along the political spectrum.
Fresh: What emerges is a vague, often chilling impression of an unpredictable opportunist and provocateur who may not even be sure himself.
Fresh: Activist groups of all stripes will want to see it, but the force of Darby's personality -- a rich stew of righteousness, arrogance and self-delusion -- gives the doc a psychological appeal independent of politics.
Provocative, no matter where you are on the political spectrum
I've thought often about this documentary ever since I watched it -- it really stuck with me and I'm glad the director brought in so many voices and perspectives on Darby. The audience isn't pushed into one conclusion but instead brought into a conversation and a puzzle. You get glimpses of Darby's charisma, a wave of his self-aggrandizement -- there are truly disturbing moments and flashes of humor. I can't help but wonder what issue Darby will try to champion next…
This one really took me for a ride -- has the kind of surprises you don't expect in a documentary.
Fair coverage of controversial figure
This was a very fair representation of a very controversial character. The film maker drew you into the story with compelling interviews of Brandon and the activists that he betrayed as well the government representatives that he helped.