A Good American
A Good American
A Good American
A Good American

A Good American

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  • Directed by: Friedrich Moser
  • Release Date: March 2018 (Educational)
  • Year of Production: 2015
Running Time: 100 min
Language: English
Digital Site License includes English Closed Captions
Subjects: Technology, American Studies
"A Good American" is a gripping docu-thriller about a groundbreaking surveillance program, the brilliant mastermind behind it and how a perfect alternative to mass surveillance was killed by NSA-management for money – three weeks prior to 9/11.

Before Edward Snowden, there was Bill Binney...

Bill Binney was a brilliant cryptologist, long-time National Security Agency (NSA) analyst, and Technical Director. He developed a sophisticated program named ThinThread for gathering data capable of providing clues, in real-time, of potential terrorist threats.

Built-in safeguards would have prevented the massive surveillance methods later exposed by Edward Snowden. Why was this program killed off? And who was behind it?

Friedrich Moser’s eye-opening and deeply disturbing documentary tells the complete story of Bill Binney and those, both inside the NSA and out, who backed ThinThread. A program that gathered data, lawfully, effectively, and more inexpensively, than the now discredited programs pursued by the US and EU governments. It’s also a chilling account of those willing to go on the record and what happened to them when they tried to expose the truth. Could ThinThread have prevented 9/11?


  • WINNER - Amnesty International Award Special Mention, Millenium Docs Against Gravity (Poland)
  • Nominated - CPH:DOX, Politiken Audience Award
  • Nominated - Austrian Film Award (Best Score)
  • Nominated - Audience Award, Palm Springs International Film Festival
  • DOC NYC (Co-presented by Columbia Journalism Review)
  • Movies that Matter @ The Hague
  • Rotterdam (IFFR)
  • Portland International Film Festival
  • Cleveland International Film Festival
  • DOXA
  • Biografilm
  • Nashville Film Festival
  • Special Screening at the Brussels European Parliament


"A damning indictment of the American security establishment. Recommended to viewers with an interest in intelligence matters." - Library Journal


"Stunning and Deeply Disturbing" - Newsweek

"Infuriating!" - Daphne Howland, The Village Voice

"Another example of the toxic fallout from corruption and power..." - Spirituality & Practice

“The film is a fascinating, sometimes jaw-dropping account of gifted individuals thwarted by self-serving superiors, with tragic results“ - IndieWIRE

"[The film's] subjects have an urgent narrative to tell." - The New York Times

“Convincing! … fascinating… certainly packs a punch!” - The Guardian

"A Good American is as exciting as a well-made thriller....extremely cinematic“ - Filmmagasinet Ekko (Denmark)

"An insanely compelling, well-orchestrated and explosive documentary." - SoundVenue (Denmark)

"Enraging, terrifying and eye-opening!" - Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

"Riveting, enraging and beautifully crafted!" - Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing


Friedrich holds a university degree (MA) in history and german studies from the University of Salzburg / Austria. Friedrich started his professional career as a TV journalist and editor in Bolzano-Bozen / Italy. In 2001 he founded blue+green communication. He has made over 20 documentaries in the past years, most of them as producer / director / DoP. Friedrich’s professional career also includes lecturing on history and documentaries at the University of Vienna / Department of Economic and Social History, as well as teaching video production at the Secondary School for Commercial Graphics in Bressanone-Brixen / Italy. Friedrich lives in Vienna/Austria and in Bressanone-Brixen / Italy. His films include THE BRUSSELS BUSINESS and A GOOD AMERICAN.

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