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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Fifth Estate

This week's movie rental was The Fifth Estate ...

a 2013 American-British-Belgian thriller film about the news-leaking website WikiLeaks. It was directed by Bill Condon with Benedict Cumberbatch as its editor-in-chief and founder Julian Assange, and Daniel Brühl as its former spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Alicia Vikander, Stanley Tucci, and Laura Linney are featured in supporting roles. The film's screenplay was written by Josh Singer based in-part on Domscheit-Berg's book Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World's Most Dangerous Website (2011), as well as WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy (2011) by British journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding.

- Assange first meets editors from The Guardian ... Guardian: Look, anyone can take a bundle of information... and toss it up on a website and call it news. And people buy our papers for something a little more discerning. Assange: People are still buying your paper? ;)

The movie was very interesting - it did a lot to explain the whole WikiLeaks thing to me, and it compelled me to read a lot more on the subject as well. On the good side, Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) was very good as Assange. On the bad side, the story was not what you'd call objective: it's mostly adapted from a book by Daniel Domscheit-Berg who had a serious falling-out with Assange and it seems skewed against him. The Wikipedia page for the film has much more info about this issue, and you can read a story in the New Statesman - How accurate is the newest WikiLeaks story? - by Alan Rusbridger, an editor of The Guardian who had worked with Assange (portrayed in the film by Peter Capaldi - World War Z).

Here's a trailer ...


And here's an interview with Assange from 2010 ...


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