Enemies of the State

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
Oscar Wilde

I am as fascinated with the making of Sonia Kennebeck’s documentary Enemies of the State as I am of the story she’s told.

The film’s three primary characters are parents Leann DeHart, Paul DeHart, and their son Matt. Leann and Paul were red–white-and-blue American patriots. They both worked in intelligence. Matt served in the Air National Guard, and received an Honorable Discharge.

The Hitch: Matt was a member of Anonymous, the international activist/hacktivist collective, and he was alleged to be a Wikileaks courier.

The story’s inciting incident occurred on January 25, 2010, when the DeHart’s home was raided by law enforcement officers who seized all electronics. The warrant alleged Matt DeHart solicited child pornography from two boys he met online. Matt adamantly denied those charges claiming the government’s real intention was to secure evidence of Matt’s espionage activities which he also denied. Matt claims he was drugged and tortured for days by officials of the United States government.

The raid set the family of three on a very unhappy odyssey. Matt went off on his own. On April 3, 2013, the family left their home, and went to Canada seeking political asylum. The film follows a dizzying amount of moves and counter moves by the family, and by the US government.

Some scenes include actors portraying characters from the real life drama. A variety of interviewees present their understanding and thoughts about what happened to Matt. Some are supportive of Matt’s claims, some are not, and some are befuddled.

Enemies of the State is an elaborately produced documentary film people will be talking about.


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