WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton recently sent off a tweet promoting the new documentary “Active Measures,” which opens this weekend, calling it a “fascinating summation of the Russia story.”
“Vladimir Putin has waged a 30-year campaign to disrupt world events, including our last election,” she wrote.
Clinton, late Senator John McCain and a host of other intelligence and foreign policy figures are interviewed for the documentary, as it tries to tie together the ongoing mystery of Putin’s aims, Russian interference and the Trump campaign. While Trump insists that there was “no collusion” and dismisses other stories as fake news, the movie delves into decades-old connections the Trump Organization has had to Russian business interests.
Director Jack Bryan, in a recent interview for Variety‘s “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM, says that during the making of the movie, they received anonymous “threatening” phone calls along with hacking attacks and even one instance where he was followed.
“Then once we announced at Hot Docs… it became bots and trolls and things like that. We aren’t even being released yet, and yet every day our IMDB score goes down because they keep signing in and giving it bad ratings,” he says.
“I have never seen this kind of activity on films before. I don’t know as a matter of fact that all that activity is Russian, but some of it certainly is,” he adds. “They have articles in [Russian news outlets] RT and Sputnik …that are very negative about the film.”
He says that a strange incident occurred at Union Station last year when he noticed a man walking in front of him “in a way that seemed very unnatural.”
So Bryan said that he started walking around different areas of the station.
“Everywhere I went he was a few yards behind me until I went down a blind alley that wasn’t a thing, and when he pops around I asked, ‘Why are you following me?’ And he got very strange and just kept around me until I got on my train,” he says.
Although the movie features an impressive number of expert talking heads, Bryan said that they purposely did not reach out to some veterans of the Trump campaign, such as Carter Page and Roger Stone, who have been very visible in telling their views on what happened.
“We wanted to be careful to who we reached out,” Bryan said. “There is sort of a notion that you have to present both sides, but for me I didn’t want to put anything in the film I thought could be fake, I thought could be a lie. I think that Carter Page and Roger Stone say things that don’t make sense when compared to what clearly has happened. So I didn’t want to be spending a lot of time walking things back that people said.”
“PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety’s Ted Johnson, airs from 2-3 p.m. ET/11-noon PT on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS. It also is available on demand.