This is the true story of Jeffrey Wigand, a tobacco industry whistleblower, as he came under fire for a 60 Minutes interview he gave. Although the story was pulled, Wigand was the subject of numerous lawsuits and smear campaigns.
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A devotional, almost sacred commemoration 2 unequivocal truth, to "grace & consistency." Grace & consistency: Mann's aesthetic principles. Mann constructs characters who, at least partially, parallel his philosophical viewpoint. Whether by landscape, sound, or close visual proximation, M.M. uses form for emotional reflection, profound introspection. In Mann's cinema, the world communicates principles to us, a gospel.
The sterile way Mann photographs the marching, circling business suits, their emotionally vacant wearers and their simple, blunt abuses is a perfect contrast to our paranoid, righteously furious protagonists. Spiritually, "The Insider" is very much a tale of man versus machine; perhaps the most realistic, stirring, and grounded such a story has ever been.
Two men enter into mythic combat with opposing forces much bigger and more powerful than themselves. They win a hard fought battle at great personal cost, but it becomes clear by the end of the film that a larger war against corporate censorship of media has been lost. This is Michael Mann's personal peak as an artist and a filmmaker. The themes and issues this film deals with are more relevant now than ever before.
The great strength of The Insider is that, unlike most of the 70s conspiracy thrillers to which it ultimately hints, we as the audience already know the horrible truth that lies at its core! Mann's genius is the way in which he wrenches tension and drama from the characters' discovery of big tobacco's invisible ascendancy and not ours