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Reel Journalism: “Nothing but the Truth”

newseum.jpg
Pictured from left are Nick Clooney, Floyd Abrams, and John Watson.
(Photo credit: Jeff Watts, American University)

“Nothing But the Truth,” a 2008 feature film inspired by the experiences of New York Times reporter Judith Miller during the Valerie Plame-CIA leak scandal, was the first film screened for the 2009-2010 Reel Journalism Film Series-presented by American University’s School of Communication and the Newseum, Monday night at AU’s Greenberg Theatre.

The film boasts an ensemble cast including Kate Beckinsale, Alan Alda, Matt Dillon, Vera Farmiga, Angela Bassett, Noah Wyle, and David Schwimmer. Even though it addresses a timely topic and received rave reviews at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, Nothing But the Truth never received a theatrical release because its distributor filed for bankruptcy.

“There may be more people in this room about to see the movie than have seen it in this country,” joked Floyd Abrams, the preeminent constitutional law expert who argued for the New York Times and Miller in the Plame CIA leak grand jury investigation.

Abrams was a technical adviser for the film and also had a cameo role as the judge who sends a journalist (Beckinsale) to jail when she refuses to reveal her sources to a special prosecutor (Dillon). Abrams, along with First Amendment expert and AU professor John Watson, were the panelists discussing the film before the screening with host Nick Clooney.

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