"Blow the Man Down:" True Life Whistle-Blowers Portrayed in Hollywood

The number of American whistle-blowers seemed to increase throughout the last half of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century, perhaps culminating in scope, seriousness and drama in the 2013 activities of Edward Snowden. The particular nature of his whistle-blowing highlighted the possible controversial element when exposing others’ behavior or internal practices; for many, he was either Saint or Satan. However, most whistle-blowers probably are seen positively by the general public. Here is an opportunity to discuss a number of cinematic treatments, focusing on the process each whistle-blower experienced and the personal effect this had on these men and women and their families. Moreover, the films themselves are great! The class will view the following titles in the order given here: All the President’s Men (1976), Silkwood (1983), The Insider (1999), Erin Brockovich (2000), North Country (2005) and The Informant (2010).

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