Conspiracy theories come from an impulse to explain away massive events that seem beyond chance. The election of Donald Trump as President in 2016 slots into this very phenomenon. Many of us were rocked with disbelief. Now, a new documentary coming from HBO, Agents of Chaos, offers a sophisticated analysis concerning foreign interference in the 2016 election — in Yale’s Timothy Synder’s words, rather than an open collusion, “let’s instead use the word ‘seduction.’”
Directed by Emmy and Academy Award winner Alex Gibney (Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley), Agents of Chaos delves into thorny questions dogging the outcome of the 2016 electon, bringing insider voices to testify on the nature of the political game at stake. According to a press release, testimonies feature “Mueller Investigation Andrew Weissmann; former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe; former CIA Director John Brennan; Trump campaign advisor Carter Page; Trump business associate Felix Sater; Margarita Simonyan, Editor-In-Chief of Russian State News Agency; NSC Senior Director Celeste Wallander, who believes the anti-Clinton hacking operation – led by the GRU, Russia’s Military Intelligence – was approved by Putin himself; and cyber conflict researcher Camille François, who explains how the IRA, Russia’s online influence agency, intended to weaken democratic institutions in the U.S. and create chaos by exploiting existing divisions, using Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Instagram.”
Agents of Chaos will arrive on HBO and HBO Max as a two-part documentary, with part one premiering Wednesday, September 23 (9:00-11:00 ET/PT), the latter following the next evening at the same time. In what’s shaping up to be both essential TV and a necessary component of American civic duty, Agents of Chaos is unmissable. Watch the trailer below.
Katherine Smith is the TV intern at Paste Magazine and recent graduate of the University of Virginia. For deeper dive into her current obsessions and hot takes, follow her at @kat_marie_tea
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