News / Arts & Entertainment

    Films Offer Contrasting Views of WikiLeaks

    Films Offer Contrasting Views of WikiLeaksi
    X
    October 22, 2013 4:53 PM
    Bill Condon’s feature film, "The Fifth Estate," on WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, focuses on the war of information in the digital era and asks whether the freedom to publish classified documents should supersede national security. The docudrama, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange, comes on the heels of Alex Gibney’s documentary, "We Steal Secrets," on the same subject. Both movies, though very different, show that in the digital age, information is still power. VOA's Penelope Poulou reports.
    Films Offer Contrasting Views of WikiLeaks
    Penelope Poulou
    Bill Condon’s feature film, The Fifth Estate, on WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, focuses on the war of information in the digital era and asks whether the freedom to publish classified documents should supersede national security.

    The docudrama, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange, comes on the heels of Alex Gibney’s documentary, We Steal Secrets, on the same subject. Both movies, though very different, show that in the digital age, information is still power.

    In 2010, more than 90,000 classified US military documents were published on an obscure website by Australian computer hacker Julian Assange. Assange and his Wikileaks are the main characters in Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate.

    "If we could find one moral man, one whistleblower, someone willing to expose those secrets, then men could topple the most powerful and most repressive of regimes,” the Assange character says in the film.

    In the movie, Assange takes center stage long before his massive release of classified US military logs from the war in Afghanistan. The film portrays him as brilliant, egocentric, and unscrupulous, releasing information regardless of the human cost. His ideas put him at odds with his WikiLeaks collaborator Daniel Berg.

    “There are things that are true on the Internet and there are things that aren’t true on the Internet," Condon said. "So, who is ultimately going to be able to help us distinguish between those two. That’s been the traditional role of journalism, The Fourth Estate, but it takes money. The Fifth Estate has emerged recently and represents the kind of citizen journalism that’s emerged in the age of the Internet.”

    Although Condon says his story is balanced, he steers the audience against Assange and his simplistic treatment of the character led Assange to decry the film.

    Many film critics agree that the film lacks the depth of Alex Gibney’s documentary We Steal Secrets, about Assange and Private Bradley Manning, who provided the documents.  

    “The deeper I got into it, the more I began to wonder why isn’t Manning a bigger part of this story," Gibney said, "so the focus began to shift and Bradley Manning  I would say is just as important to this film as Julian Assange."

    Gibney presents Manning’s torment over the information he stumbled on. He also presents Guardian reporter Nick Davies as an important participant in redacting sensitive information from the documents.

    In a statement, reporter Mark Davis, who was with Assange during the collaboration with The Guardian, paints a different picture.   

    "Everyone in the room was hell bent on meeting the release date despite Assange’s reservations," Davis said. "It was Assange, entirely alone, who removed 10,000 names prior to the release."

    Whatever his moral choices, both films agree Assange revolutionized the way information reaches us today.

    You May Like

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    First Human Head Transplant Planned for 2017

    Italian neurosurgeon, assisted by team of 100 medical staff, to perform 36-hour surgery on Russian man with debilitating muscle-wasting disease

    Biden Urges Global Focus on Cancer as a 'Constant Emergency'

    At Vatican conference on regenerative medicine, Vice president notes that cancer kills more than 3,000 people each day in US alone

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Arbed
    October 23, 2013 4:53 AM
    Hear what people who know and work with Julian Assange had to say after seeing the movie:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9YrH8FyWs0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUcg9c3gXb_rwyqzeCaLuHDA

    Also, you should be really careful about recommending Alex Gibney's documentary We Steal Secrets. The director held a personal animosity towards Assange because the latter would not grant him an interview, so Gibney actually told lots of lies in his film. Example: There really is no excuse for a documentary maker to interview a woman making allegations of sexual assault, juxtapose that interview with a photograph from the police forensic evidence file of the torn, "used" condom she handed to police, and then NOT tell his viewers that the forensic lab ALSO found that the condom in question didn't have any DNA on it - not even hers. Clearly, she's handed in fake evidence and, clearly, that must have been obvious to Alex Gibney when he read the police file during his research. Reputable filmmakers don't do that, and Alex Gibney's willingness to knowingly use false evidence in this film can only lead to the question "What else isn't true in this movie?"

    Get the real facts here: http://wikileaks.org/IMG/html/gibney-transcript.html


    This new, definitive analysis of exactly how the unredacted files got out, takes apart Daniel Domscheit-Berg's central role in that event, and also blows apart Guardian journalist David Leigh's lies about the matter, explaining how the Guardian's tech department and his book's fact-checkers must have warned him about the chapter title where he reproduces the Cablegate file's encryption key. But Leigh's priority was obviously not to protect State Dept sources, he wanted the book (original title, The Rise and FALL of Wikileaks) to destroy Wikileaks as an rival organisation.

    http://rixstep.com/2/20131001,00.shtml

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Border Crossings: A Great Big Worldi
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    April 27, 2016 12:30 PM
    Duo Ian Axel and Chad King who are better known as "A Great Big World" released their sophomore CD in 2015, "When the Morning Comes" and they join Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from the new CD and also their biggest hit, "Say Something."

    Duo Ian Axel and Chad King who are better known as "A Great Big World" released their sophomore CD in 2015, "When the Morning Comes" and they join Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from the new CD and also their biggest hit, "Say Something."