Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
The only film with access to Darby since his public confession, Informant meticulously constructs a picture of his life - before and after the death threats - through interviews and tense reenactments starring Darby himself. Darby's version of events is accompanied - and often contradicted - by evidence from acquaintances and expert commentators on various points along the political spectrum, posing complicated questions about trust and the nature of reality. As David Hanners of St. Paul Pioneer Press suggests, "When you interview people about Brandon Darby, you realize that everyone has a different idea of who he is." (c) Music Box … More
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Critic Reviews for Informant
This is a multilayered film that not only exposes a man's contradictions - a do-gooder narcissist; a thoughtful, delusional activist - but also speaks volumes about the fringes on both sides of the political spectrum.
This timely documentary passes the test as a work of balanced journalism about a man of fascinating contradictions.
Anyone interested in movement politics in the 21st century will get plenty to ponder in this well-made doumentary.
If his methods don't come off smoothly, Mr. Meltzer's conclusion does leave you feeling that even the whole story would be cold comfort for those involved.
What emerges is a vague, often chilling impression of an unpredictable opportunist and provocateur who may not even be sure himself.
Audience Reviews for Informant
With the documentary "Informant," let's start with what is known:
Brandon Darby once worked with a collective in post-Katrina New Orleans to provide basic services for the populace. Three years later, he goes undercover as an FBI informant to gather information on militant activists intent on disrupting the Republican Convention in Minneapolis. Needless to say, there are more than a few people who feel betrayed by this second part.
But rewind and forget all the politics for a second, even though it is cool to see another collective in action doing a lot of good for the community. Before that, Darby drives from Austin, Tx to rescue his friend King from the floodwaters, thus making him a hero. But it is this same heroic attitude that makes him an ill fit for the everyday tasks of the collective where the workers are required to get their hands dirty, not to mention the meetings which while containing no action are necessary for forming ideas and hearing from members. So, frustrated, Darby looks elsewhere to continue being a hero and for the adulation he feels he deserves, even continuing to be given another chance while playing himself in this documentary. And I almost feel a little sorry for him, until about the last fifteen minutes.
An interesting look at a very confusing and bizarre story. Writer/director Jamie Meltzer certainly wanted to show both sides of this story, but I'm not sure he accomplished it. It's certainly not a bad documentary, but I found myself losing interest and zoning out more than once.
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