The film follows — often in closely framed shots — the plight of Senate staffer Daniel J. Jones (Driver), who was tasked by his boss, Dianne Feinstein (Bening) to lead an investigation into the CIA’s use of torture on terrorist suspects in the years following the 9/11 attacks. Importantly, torture was referred to euphemistically as “enhanced interrogation techniques,” and this willful innocence seeped into every aspect of how they dealt with the findings of the report and its eventual dissemination (or lack thereof).
Burns’ film follows Jones as he is met with resistance by the CIA and the White House in his search for the truth, and it’s as timely of a film as it is timeless: the entirety of Jones’s research began in 2007, and a highly redacted form of the report was released in 2014 (the full report has still yet to be released). Given how topical the idea of a Senate report challenging the ethical practices of the government feels right now, one has to wonder: how accurate are the depictions of the actual people involved with this epic undertaking?
Here, we’ve teased out all the main characters in The Report and examined how closely they might resemble the real-life people whom they depict in the film.