Tuesday, October 22, 2013

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2013)

Director: Alex Gibney. 130 min. Rated R. Documentary.

Two-hour plus documentary, following the rise of Julian Assange while his popular WikiLeaks website keeps whistle-blowers anonymous; and the fall of Julian Assange, while his famed whistle-blower Bradly Manning doesn't stay anonymous. But this is not just a biographical film. It explores Assange's philosophy of free, limitless information (e.g. if an Afghan snitch dies because WikiLeaks blew his cover, well, he deserved to die, because civilians have no business cooperating with invading forces), and shows how the same philosophy undermined and crushed WikiLeaks. In other words, the film forces you to take sides.

PS: Alex Gibney is the director of the Oscar-nominated Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, the Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, the Emmy-nominated Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, and the Emmy-winning Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of GodCan't wait to see his recent The Armstrong Lie. This guy gets around.

Mo says:


  1. I watched this after reading your review and I'm glad I did, it's an excellent documentary. It was fascinating to watch Assange moving from being an anonymous hacker to a world famous celebrity. When he eventually becomes so paranoid that he starts keeping secrets himself it felt like poetic justice. Whilst I agree the public have a right to know when their governments are committing crimes, I don't feel that all secret documents should be made public. So if I must take sides I will sit on the fence or take the side of Bradly Manning.
    I'm sure there will be many "fictional" movies made based on the lives of both Manning and Assange.

    1. Glad you liked it, Toast. Agree with every word. The film really makes you think, how much data should be free for all to know? On the one hand, governments should transparent, but on the other, it's impossible for them to accomplish many things without the right to secrecy. And who knows when they'll take advantage of that right, to do some other dirty deed for special interest groups? It's a double-edged sword, without a simple answer.