Exclusive Sundance Film Festival Video Interview: Director Rory Kennedy on Crafting ‘Downfall: The Case Against Boeing’

Exclusive Sundance Film Festival Video Interview: Director Rory Kennedy on Crafting ‘Downfall: The Case Against Boeing’

Once considered the best in the business, with the popular saying, “If it’s not Boeing, I’m not going,” the aircraft manufacturing giant experienced a considerable fall from grace when two of its 737 MAX planes crashed within six months of each other. While Boeing initially blamed Indonesian and Ethiopian pilots for not being well-trained and for not handling unexpected circumstance properly, it was later revealed that Boeing knew about potential risks and failed to tell its pilots about them.

The documentary Downfall: The Case Against Boeing, which is making its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, is a comprehensive and damning account of Boeing’s willful wrongdoing and the many innocent lives lost as a result. I had the chance to speak with filmmaker Rory Kennedy, whose past credits include Last Days in Vietnam and Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, about the experience of researching Boeing and constructing this thorough and well-assembled look at how a profit-driven company cut safety standards and endangered its employees and passengers.

You can watch the video below, along with an official summary and where to watch.

Interview with Director Rory Kennedy on Downfall: The Case Against Boeing


Film summary:

Many of us take for granted that commercial air travel is safe. In 2018, with some 10,000 aircraft in service in more than 150 countries, industry leader Boeing had built its reputation on a dogged commitment to safety. But after 346 passengers are killed when two Boeing 737 MAX jets crash less than five months apart, dedicated journalists, surviving family members, and the United States Congress fight to reveal a culture of concealment and deceit within the venerated company. Acclaimed director Rory Kennedy returns to the Sundance Film Festival with this comprehensive investigation into the crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. Families of the victims relate the human cost of these tragedies, while aviation experts and former Boeing employees reveal what went wrong at the company, offering damning evidence of lies, negligence, and cover-up. DOWNFALL: The Case Against Boeing serves as a searing indictment of a once-principled company corrupted by the influence of Wall Street to prioritize profits above all else.

Check out more of Abe Friedtanzer’s articles.

Downfall The Case Against Boeing
A still from Downfall: The Case Against Boeing by Rory Kennedy, an official selection of the Premieres section at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Netflix.

Downfall: The Case Against Boeing makes its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and will be released on Netflix on Friday, February 18th.

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