A full doc: Active Measures

Aug 31, 2018

It's all there but the smoking gun.

Active Measures

Grade: C+

Director: Jack Bryan

Screenplay: Bryan, Marley Clements

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 1 hr 49 min

by John DeSando

Active Measures: "Soviet term for the actions of political warfare conducted by Russian security forces to influence the course of world events."

The documentary Active Measures packs more information and images than could ever be processed in one sitting. Its strength is therefore a mass of examples for the collaboration of Russia with a variety of interests to skewer the 2016 presidential election.

Such sources as Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, and John McCain make their case for the influences, and the images from the media and interviews are crisp and to the point. To find out that President Putin may be the wealthiest man in the world is just one of the small bits to titillate those of us who have witnessed pretty much everything this full doc discloses.

The assault of information is so relentless and the pace so machine gun like, it’s becomes difficult to process it all. A slower and fuller presentation with half the material would have given a solidly informative and entertaining film. By the way, although fulsome, the doc does not provide a smoking gun for anything like treason or impeachment. It does show in its detail the pervasive corruption in governments on both sides of the seas.

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at