Film review: We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (15)
Alex Gibney's film is a documentary of two halves. The first half beats the drum for WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, the man behind the biggest security breach in US intelligence history.
What surprises here is Gibney's apparently unquestioning attitude to his subject, given the lances he has broken against the smart guys of Enron and the US military in Taxi to the Dark Side. Inside the first five minutes Assange is described as "brilliant", "clever" and "brave". But the tone changes once two sex-abuse charges in Sweden come to light and Assange's own mask begins to slip, revealing a thin-skinned, paranoid and pretty grasping character.
But this is no ad hominem assault; the real story of the film belongs to Bradley Manning, a conscience-stricken Army private who in 2010 leaked video footage of a US gunship in Baghdad killing two children, two Reuters journalists and several others who happened to be standing by (the shooter's radioed commentary to base is sickening).
Manning, for all his naivety, really did prove himself a crusader for freedom, and paid the price – three years in the brig without trial, and tortured to boot. It makes Assange's furtiveness and his hideout in the Ecuadorean embassy look even more weaselly.
Gibney has stitched together the ordinary material of interviews, emails and news footage into a quite incendiary narrative. His film has made a good case for the WikiLeaks ethic, if not for its tainted figurehead.
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
Arts & Ents blogs
The desolation of the Weinstein brothers: Film producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
Your Money, Money, Money please - Abba ask fans for £195 pledges on direct-to-fan website
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug review
Not all right on the night
Lost Peter Sellers films Dearth of a Salesman and Insomnia Is Good for You hailed as the movie equivalent of 'finding Dead Sea Scrolls'
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ sign language interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
- 2 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 3 Australia: Gay marriage law reversed by high court less than a week after first weddings
- 4 Not all right on the night
- 5 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- < Previous
- Next >