CNN Films’ documentary WHITEY: United States of America v. James J. Bulger is a sweeping and revelatory cinema-verité film that follows the trial of the infamous gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, while exposing corruption within the highest levels of our nation’s law enforcement. Embedded for months with an incredible cast of characters – including FBI agents, victims’ families, defense lawyers, gangsters, journalists, and police officers – Academy Award-nominated director Joe Berlinger examines how Bulger was empowered by the FBI and Department of Justice to reign over a criminal empire in South Boston for decades. Using the unfolding trial as the dramatic thread for the film, bringing together the main players in the Bulger story, the film follows the extraordinary developments in the case and in the lives of the characters as they seek answers in a world of lies, violence, and distrust.
In this tense and sprawling narrative, it’s often impossible to judge the “good bad guys” from the “bad good guys,” as one-time heroes become compromised, would-be enemies make strange bedfellows, as the victims’ families show astonishing loyalty to the defense lawyers representing the man who killed their loved ones, and crusaders search for the truth the government continues to obscure. Pulling back the curtain with unprecedented access and detailing shocking allegations, WHITEY: United States of America v. James J. Bulger offers a universal tale of human frailty, opportunism, deception, as well as the sacrifice, hope and the enduring, if often futile, search for justice and truth.