Winner of Best Documentary at the 2012 Doc NYC Festival, Informant is a fascinating, gripping portrait of Brandon Darby, a radical activist turned FBI informant who has been alternately vilified and deified. In 2005, Darby became an overnight hero when he traveled to Katrina-devastated New Orleans and braved toxic floodwaters to rescue a friend stranded in the Ninth Ward. Soon after, he co-founded Common Ground, a successful grassroots relief organization. But over the next few years, he began hiding a shocking secret. After two young protestors were arrested at the 2008 Republican National Convention, Darby revealed he had been instrumental in the indictment as an FBI informant.
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.”
Winner: Grand Jury Prize, DOC NYC 2012
Winner: Best Documentary, Austin Film Festival 2012
“An absorbing puzzle with the potential to intrigue viewers all along the political spectrum.” —Dennis Harvey, Variety
“Excellent and engrossing.” —John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter
“A kind of Fog of War for the age of Occupy.” —Anthony Kaufman, Indiewire