Tina Satter skillfully adapts her scintillating off-Broadway play, using dialogue culled exclusively from the FBI transcripts of Winner's 2017 arrest.
In the widely covered story of the U.S. intelligence operative harshly sentenced in 2018 for leaking a confidential report on Russian election interference to The Intercept, the accidental (in)appropriateness of the operative’s name was always an eyecatching detail. Could one of recent reality’s most highly public losers actually be called Reality Winner? Playwright Tina Satter’s enormously compelling film-directing debut adds another layer of cosmic irony to that nominative determinism. In using the title “Reality,” and being scripted verbatim from exchanges recorded by the FBI during Winner’s 2017 surprise interrogation, Satter not only vividly revisits the story, she also makes us question the very relationship between a narrative film and the truth it claims to expose. Reality can be stranger than fiction, but “Reality” fuses the two to become stranger, and more riveting, still.
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