Berlinale: Programme

Film File

Berlinale Special

Watergate – Or: How We Learned to Stop an Out of Control President

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Who does not know the famous images of Richard Nixon raising both arms to give a double victory sign? The last time he made this gesture was after his resignation in 1974, which he justified with the words: ‘the interests of America first’. This had been preceded by two years of tantalisingly slow revelations about a barely imaginable network of criminal machinations by the White House. The trigger was the break-in at Democratic Party headquarters in a building complex called ‘Watergate’. The story of this disclosure, much of which took place in public, has been told many times, also on the big screen. Since then, however, some crucial audio documents previously classified as secret have now been declassified, giving Oscar winner Charles Ferguson cause to reconstruct the case in its entirety. This four-hour montage of TV excerpts, interviews with contemporaries and re-enactments of tape recordings from the Oval Office takes on the momentum of a thriller. What emerges is an almost Shakespearean web of intrigue, lies and betrayal, conducted for, against and not least by a man who was not prepared to lose and who deeply despised the establishment.

Charles Ferguson

USA 2018


Documentary form
262’ · Black/White & Colour


Douglas Hodge (Richard Nixon)
John Hopkins (H. R. “Bob” Haldeman)
Mark Dexter (John Dean)
Elliot Levey (Henry Kissinger)
Will Keen (John Ehrlichman)
Jill Wine-Banks (herself)
Richard Ben-Veniste (himself)
George Frampton (himself)
Elizabeth Holtzman (herself)
John Dean (himself)
Carl Bernstein (himself)
Bob Woodward (himself)


Written and Directed by
Charles Ferguson
Yuanchen Liu, Daphne Matziaraki, Morgan Schmidt Feng, Shana Hagan, Dennis Madden, (reenactments)
Joe Garrity, Amy Foote, Hemal Trivedi, Cindy Lee
Ben Holiday
Michael Jones
Dominic Webb
Dominic Webb
Sasha Robertson, Sarah Trevis
Assistant Director
Joe Garrity
Production Manager
Steve Murphy
Krista Parris
Caitlin Cutter
Executive Producers
Mike Stiller, Molly Thompson, Jana Bennett, John Sloss, Dana O'Keefe


Charles Ferguson

The filmmaker and writer is founder and president of Representational Pictures and the director and producer of the Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job. His film No End in Sight was also nominated for an Oscar, while Time to Choose focused on the effects of climate change and the challenge of global sustainability.

Filmography (documentaries)

2007 No End in Sight 2010 Inside Job 2015 Time to Choose 2018 Watergate – Or: How We Learned to Stop an Out of Control President

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019

Produced by

Representational Pictures

World Sales