David Korn-Brzoza
2002, France, 82 minutes

If you thought you were paranoid before...
“If you phone, fax or email a friend to say ‘Let’s go see Echelon: The Secret Power,’ be advised, you’ll doubtless end up on a list somewhere. Juicy, entertaining and densely informative documentary demonstrates the extent to which private communications are illegally and constantly spied on by the title network, which spans the globe, plumbs the ocean depths and beams into outer space and back. (The) visually and intellectually lively film, designed to mimic an espionage thriller, is a riveting, spine-tingling account of five sneaky English-speaking nations (the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) working in collusion.

In 1998, at the request of the European Parliament, UK investigative specialist Duncan Campbell authored a report called The Listening Alliance, which established the existence of a secret network (Project F415 aka Echelon). It uses giant domes (called “radomes”), satellite dishes, satellites and networked supercomputers to intercept, sift through and analyze millions of fax, land line, cell phone and email messages around the globe. Campbell puts it thus: ‘There is no privacy.” -Variety

I wonder how many pages were added to my file (which may already be voluminous) when I initiated negotiations (by phone, fax and email) with the producers of Echelon: The Secret Power (in France of all places!) to present this amazing film at the Festival? It was definitely worth it. Can I get an order of Freedom Fries with that?

-Bruce Fletcher

In attendance: Director David Korn-Brzoza


Nicolas Provost, Belgium, 2003, 7 min