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"A Bitter Taste of Freedom" is a Personal Portrait of a Late Friend and a Nation That's Lost Its Way

Forgive my usual instinct to compare new films with old, and docs with narratives, but going into Marina Goldovskaya's new documentary, "A Bitter Taste of Freedom," I couldn't help but think of Joel Schumacher's "Veronica Guerin." There have been other female journalists assassinated for their prying, I'm sure, but Guerin and Anna Politkovskaya, the Russian reporter at the center of "Bitter," are probably the most famous. In Schumacher's drama (and no, I haven't seen John Mackenzie's earlier, names-changed version, "When the Sky Falls"), Guerin is portrayed by Cate Blanchett as more pestering than penetrating, an obnoxiously forthcoming investigator who may…

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