“My father lived in a world of secrets. Always watching, listening, his eye on the door. He was tougher, smarter, smoother and could be crueler than anybody I ever knew. I’m not sure he ever loved anyone. And I never heard him say anything heartfelt. By the time I turned 30, I came to understand the man that nobody knew. Or at least I thought I did.”
Bill Colby is without a doubt my least favorite DCI and after watching this, nothing has changed.
This was a really, really well done movie and I definitely recommend anyone with an interest in spies, intelligence, the CIA, anything; go and watch it. It really is worth your time and even if it doesn’t get you right away, just wait until the last 5 minutes. That’s when all of the build-up, all of the back-story and interviews are suddenly and very sharply put into contrast. Until that moment they are incomplete truths of who and what William Colby was. And even at the end, we aren’t left with the truth. I thought the threading dialogues of Colby’s professional life, personal life and the events of the nation were brilliantly presented and for most of it I was frustrated by how one-sided things appeared to be presented but then there’s this heart-wrenching moment of betrayal that sends up so many red flags that you find yourself wanting to know the truth which we will unfortunately never know. At the same time, it adds this sinister undertone to all of the things being said about him for the past 100 minutes that makes you want to question everything. It was brilliantly done.
We end up with biographical facts that don’t do a very good job of telling the story which is exactly how William Colby communicated to the external world.
Did he commit suicide? Was he ideologically turned during or after Vietnam? Was he a secretive double agent or a Catholic spy or a turn and burn employee who rage quit the CIA?
Who knows. We do know he was a fucking asshole. Maybe that will have to be enough.
p.s. His home-wrecking new wife was not a fan of a movie she has no right to criticize. Um, yeah, he left his devoted wife for you. Go get your little notebook and pose for photos and be more lame. In case anyone cares, here’s the link.