...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

June 18, 2007

Breach - 5

Based on the true story of FBI agent Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper) and the discovery of his spying and selling US secrets to the Soviet Union and Russia. The main character is actually rookie FBI not-yet-agent Eric O'Neill (Ryan Phillippe) whose job it becomes to keep track of Hanssen and discover any incriminating evidence. The film shows the internal struggle O'Neill goes through as he tries to balance out friendship with Hanssen, understand his vocation as an FBI employee, keep his marriage flourishing, and keep the lies and truth sorted out. The film also highlights Hanssen's Catholicism as a guiding force for him. The best part of the film is near the end when Hanssen is caught and there is some dialogue about why someone would betray their own country. The film suggests that it seems to be an act that gives the individual a sense of meaning amidst the bureaucracy of government life. This same conversation is had between O'Neill and his supervisor (Laura Linney) about the distinct challenges of working with information that can mean life and death.

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