Watching this again, my appreciation for it only grows. It feels so rare these days to see a (moderately) big budget film that isn't afraid to leave the audience behind. This is my second or third viewing and it was only this time that I really felt I was following everything that was going on. A terrific, realistic spy film.
This is a middling documentary whose primary function is how not to make a documentary. Others may disagree, but successful documentaries need to do one of three things:
(1) Explain something. This is the 'easiest' (in a relative sense). Insert your favourite David Attenborough doco here.
(2) Make an argument. You, the director, gather materials, interview people, and construct your case. Think of something like 'An Inconvenient Truth' or 'Super Size Me'.
(3) Explore a person. This is the most…
This and the next film are really one story and as a result, it's difficult to properly judge this film on its own. A ton of characters are introduced and very little is resolved. The good news is that with so much going on, things are never boring. I look forward to giving a fuller appraisal in September.