The upcoming movie Reality by Sydney Sweeney is based on the story of an intelligence expert, Reality Winner, who leaked classified information about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.
Winner’s story started in May 2017, when she gave a secret document to an online news site called The Intercept. The leaked document showed that the Russian military intelligence had attacked local poll officials and voting software in the United States before the 2016 election.
The Intercept made a mistake with the leaked paper, which made Winner’s identity the anonymous source public.
Winner was charged under the Espionage Act. In 2018, as part of a deal, he pleaded guilty and was given a harsh prison term of five years and three months.
Winner said that she leaked the report to get the truth out there. In an interview with 60 Minutes in 2021, she said, “I knew it was secret, but I also knew that I had pledged service to the American people, and at that point in time, it felt like they were being led astray.”
Winner was let out of jail in June 2021 and sent to a halfway house program. She was then ordered to stay home until her full release in November 2021.
The reality on HBO uses lines from the real FBI questioning transcript word for word. This shows how intense the meeting was.
Reality brings Winner’s story to life by showing the brave choices she made and the terrible things that happened because of them. HBO Films will put out the movie on May 29.