Review by Mark Schwab
When the official "war on terror" began in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the public was still in a state of shock. Fear had won out. The American people were desperate for leadership and a feeling that this could never happen again. How much were they willing to give up to have that "security" again? According to director Janek Ambros and executive producer/Oscar nominee James Cromwell, we gave up too much. WAY too much.
This is the underlying point of IMMINENT THREAT - 73 minutes of quickly paced documentary filmmaking designed to bring you up to date on the massive government overreach into our lives starting with The Patriot Act and going through to Edward Snowden. As a San Jose resident, I particularly enjoyed seeing former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell interviewed at length here. I always found Campbell to be thoughtful and intelligent and those qualities come through here.
If you are even a casual political viewer, there probably isn't much here that you haven't already heard before but it still hits home to see it layed out over 73 commercial-free minutes. Especially when they get testimony regarding drone strikes (99% of which kill civilians instead of enemy combatants). It's important to be reminded of what President Obama promised in 2008 and then his about-face regarding domestic spying and "surges".
IMMINENT THREAT lays out the case using stock footage, interviews and even some animation - all of it put together in a totally coherent way. It soberly presents the progressive liberal/center-right libertarian viewpoint (even attempting to subtly nudge the two sides together in unity). Is it even-handed in its handling of the subject? Hell no. But it does present their point in a way which everyone can follow. You might totally disagree with their side, but you can't say it doesn't make sense.