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Documentary Film and Video
Film and Media Studies
April, 2012


Informant is a fascinating portrait of Brandon Darby, a radical left-wing activist turned FBI informant. In 2005, Darby became an overnight hero when he traveled to Katrina-devastated New Orleans and braved toxic floodwaters to rescue a stranded friend. 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 their indictment as an FBI informant. Today, having renounced his left-wing past, he is a tea-party darling who writes regularly for the right-leaning web site

In addition to trying to unlock the mystery of Darby, Informant offers an powerful insider look at the hidden use of informants in contemporary America -- an especially timely issue in light of the recent leaks about government surveillance.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Winner, Grand Jury Prize at Doc NYC
Winner, Best Documentary at Austin Film Festival
Winner, Best Documentary at Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival
Winner, Best Documentary at Fargo Film Festival
Winner, Best Editing at Salem Film Fest

"Smartly gives all sides of the story their chance to speak, creating an almost Rashomon-like viewing experience where we're encouraged to decide the truth on our own." - Kalvin Henely, Slant

"Mesmerizing and Timely! Informant is riveting as it slowly assembles a damning profile of its subject." - Ernest Hardy, Village Voice

"Oozes with espionage enigma." - Michael Atkinson, Time Out New York

“The Grand Jury Prize goes to a film that is thrilling from beginning to end, that innovates documentary form, that takes a small corner of America and looks at our widest issues. For its Rashomon-like investigation of a terrorist crime that did or didn’t happen, the Grand Jury Prize goes to Informant.” - DOC NYC Jury Statement

“An absorbing puzzle with the potential to intrigue viewers all along the political spectrum.” - Dennis Harvey, Variety

“A kind of “Fog of War” for the age of Occupy” - Anthony Kaufman, Indiewire

"An examination of the paranoia-filled American political divide. An unsettling portrait of a charismatic true believer, whose most consistent belief is that he’s the hero of a grand narrative." - Liam Lacey, The Globe and Mail