Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Confessions of an Undercover Cop- my review

Mark Kennedy/Stone showed his documentary last night on Channel4. I say it is his documentary, as the named director Brian Hill never asked any serious questions and just let Kennedy ramble on. It was a video diary rather than a serious documentary.

There was very little actual archive footage with Kennedy in it - just a few photos of his face, rarely in any real situations. They dressed some actors up in cop outfits for any action scenes. The reconstructions were mostly a joke- even to the point of having an actress play his ex-girlfriend. I found that every insensitive. Surely if you are going to have an actress play the role of a real person-just give give an impression of who she is rather than a full view of the actresses face.

Slowly it dawned on me that this was a form of therapy for Kennedy. The guy became a cop at 19, then got into playing the role of a drug user to catch dealers. I reckon he loved his role as an actor. When his cover was blown after 7 years playing the role of an environmental activist, he just sought out a new gig- this time on TV.

The Channel 4 documentary was mostly illustrated with reconstructions with Kennedy playing the role of himself. This must have suited him very well. At last the world was seeing the real thespian that has been struggling to get out all these years. His acting role in the documentary was carefully scripted to play on the sympathy vote. This is a man who has lied, cheated and bought his way into campaigners trust. Now he was trying to do the same again with the wider public, this time through a TV screen. It was awful to see a film maker allow him to do it without challenging him.

The images of Kennedy looking in the mirror made me cringe- changing his appearance like a chameleon- just all a bit naff and 'am dram'.
It was a bit of a mess as a story too- one minute it was the Director Brian Hill narrating, then it was Kennedy narrating followed by him being interviewed. It left so many questions unasked.We needed someone really delving deep into his psychology- what made him go undercover against activists? What was the story behind his tattoos that he chose? What was his relationship with his Father who was also a cop?
There was so much more to be dragged out of the lying bastard which the director never even touched upon.

I guess since Kennedy was paid a lot of hard cash for appearing in the film that he could dictate what was in the film. The film was basically propaganda for an ex-cop. I am really glad that activists refused to be interviewed for the film.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

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