Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim’s documentary The Great Hack, released directly to Netflix this past summer, opens at Burning Man. It’s there that we find Brittany Kaiser, one-time business director of Cambridge Analytica, the consulting firm outed for misusing data harvested from Facebook and potentially affecting the outcomes of the 2016 presidential election and the Brexit referendum. The film gets up close and personal with Kaiser as she flees to Thailand and returns to Europe to testify against her former employer, CEO Alexander Nix. She provides valuable insight on the extent of the company’s wrongdoing, but the film refrains from making her out to be a hero. Amer and Noujaim instead go the print-the-legend route and cover the entire fog of controversy that soon surrounded Kaiser, as some applauded her stand in the face of power, and others denounced her as a complicit party looking to get some money or attention by turning on her boss. Going by pure verisimilitude, documentary cinema has the edge on fictionalized films about real life, and the gulf of difference in how the two fields have approached portraying the whistleblower – as a concept, and as a human individual – lays that bare. With… Read full this story
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