Lesson Duration

By The Choices Program

Directed by Peter Galison and Robb Moss, the film Secrecy explores the tensions between our safety as a nation, and our ability to function as a democracy. The film is intended for older students (grades 10-12, college, adult) and teachers should carefully preview the film to be sure that it is appropriate for use in their classrooms. Go to Bullfrog Films for purchasing/ viewing information.

The Teacher’s Guide was produced by the Choices for the 21st Century Program of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. It is designed to get students to explore the issues through multiple perspectives, thoughtful public discourse and informed decision making. Though the lessons in this guide are designed for use with selected excerpts from the film, they may be used independently as well.

Lesson 1: Secrecy, Freedom of the Press, and National Security
Students consider the historical tensions between secrecy and a free press.

Lesson 2: State Secrets—From Reynolds to Hamdan
Students consider the state secrets privilege in relation to three key court cases.

Lesson 3: Secrecy in a Post-9/11 World
Students wrestle with questions of secrecy and disclosure after 9/11/2001.

Lesson 4: Redacting Documents
Students consider the trade-offs between the classification of information and freedom of information (FOI).

Teacher’s Guide to “Secrecy”


The Choices for the 21st Century Education Program is a national education initiative developed at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies.