The Thrills of Real Life

Last night I had the chance to hear director Doug Liman speak at the Santa Fe premiere of FAIR GAME, a riveting feature film based on two books: FAIR GAME by former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson and THE POLITICS OF TRUTH by Ambassador Joe Wilson. During a Q&A session, Liman (who also directed the film The Bourne Identity) spoke on the evolution of the original film script to the final story, focusing on the relationship between Valerie Plame Wilson--outed as a CIA NOC during the Bush administration's countdown to the invasion of Iraq in 2003--and her husband Ambassador Joe Wilson, attacked by the same administration because he spoke out against their abuse of crucial intelligence used to lead this nation to war. Liman said he focused on the relationship between Valerie Plame Wilson (played in the film by actor Naomi Watts) and Joe Wilson (played by actor Sean Penn) because it was far more dramatic than any fiction he might create. Details of the various investigations surrounding the larger political story were cut out of the script because, according to Liman, people just won't care. They'll care for a minute but then they go back to their own lives.
What we do care about: two people, two civil servants, leading larger-than-life lives, faced with the choice to be victimized by or fight back against political tyranny. The stakes in the story couldn't be greater--a nation on the brink of war.

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