Special Presentations

Mark Felt - The Man Who Brought Down the White House

Peter Landesman

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Liam Neeson stars as the FBI special agent who helped bring down the Nixon White House when he became Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward’s infamous source “Deep Throat” during the Watergate investigation.

We historicize Watergate as an era-defining triumph of investigative journalism over political corruption, but those who lived through it know the exposé and its astonishing outcome were the result of years of dogged work — work that could never have been done without the anonymous whistleblower known only as Deep Throat. This riveting historical thriller, starring Liam Neeson and directed by Peter Landesman — himself an award-winning investigative reporter — tells the story of a man whose courage and integrity led to the most infamous scandal in US politics.

It is 1972. After nearly 40 years in office, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover has died. Despite obvious qualifications and decades of dedication, Special Agent Mark Felt (Neeson) is not appointed as Hoover’s successor. The snub is indicative of forces outside the Bureau conspiring against its independence. Felt is named Associate Director, yet Nixon’s White House keeps Felt and his colleagues on an ever-tightening leash — especially with regards to a mysterious break-in at the Democratic National Committee’s Watergate headquarters. Seeing no other recourse, Felt begins leaking information to Washington Post writer Bob Woodward, placing himself in danger and changing the course of history.

The resonances of this story (which is based on a book by Felt and John O’Connor) with current events hardly require mention. This forceful indictment of the abuses of power reminds us to remain always vigilant, to never take democracy for granted, and to cherish our heroes — even those hidden from view.

MICHÈLE MAHEUX

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location_on Ryerson Theatre

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theaters Regular

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