"War on Whistleblowers" Muddles its Important Message with a Bombastic Delivery Review

Robert Greenwald, the filmmaker and political activist behind Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism and Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, has a new target in his documentary War on Whistleblowers. The first part of the film covers a brief history of whistleblowers in America and how they positively changed the course of history. In the second part, he delves into modern day whistleblowers in the NSA and military contractors and documenting the difficulties they face after coming forward.

I'm often torn when it comes to Greenwald's documentaries. On the one hand, I am usually behind his messages, and I think War on Whistleblowers gives audiences a fuller understanding of whistleblowers and why they should be protected. On the other hand, I really don't like Greenwald's style of filmmaking. The fast-cuts, flashy editing, and talking heads all talking over each other at once are too similar to cable news, and it feels like a cheap trick to keep the audience's attention. I'd much rather watch a documentary that is a little less bombastic, even if some people find it dry.

Overall, I would still give War on Whistleblowers a mild recommendation because I do believe people need to hear the stories of these brave individuals. They need to understand that by becoming a whistleblower, a person gives up their privacy, financial stability, and any future ambitions in their chosen profession. People do not choose to be whistleblowers because they crave attention but rather because they cannot live with themselves if they don't speak up. If more people hear these whistleblowers' stories as a result, I can forgive Robert Greenwald's over-the-top filmmaking a bit.

DVD Bonus Features

Special features include extended interviews, director's commentary, and trailers for other Robert Greenwald films.

"War on Whistleblowers" is on sale July 30, 2013 and is not rated. Documentary. Directed by Robert Greenwald. Starring Danielle Brian, David Carr, Lucy Dalglish, Michael Dekort, Steven Aftergood.

Rachel Kolb • Staff Writer

I love movies, writing, and breaking into song in public. You can follow me on Twitter @rachelekolb or check out more of my work at http://rachelekolb.wordpress.com.


New Reviews