The Fifth Estate

Posted in movies by - November 01, 2013
The Fifth Estate

If the really important story about WikiLeaks is that Julian Assange is a weirdo and should never have been so cavalier with Daniel Berg’s feelings, then this movie is the perfect dramatization of the WikiLeaks moment.

To Daniel Berg, who gets the gauzy-lens treatment here, it probably does feel like that’s the takeaway. It certainly could be bruising to be semi-anonymous at the center of a media hurricane. Especially if you helped to create the hurricane. One might be forgiven for holding on to grudges, and writing a history that favors one’s point of view.

For you and me, however, the men matter far less than the material. I don’t care how freaky and awkward Assange is – his personality traits are common enough in the field of computer science. I am not interested in how Berg and his girlfriend finally got back together. The only story that really matters about WikiLeaks is the actual disclosures, and the action or apathy they inspire. The idea that digital citizens could call shenanigans on the mundane evils of the world and by disclosing end them is a worthy one, perhaps the most worthy idea of our century.

It is our misfortune that this film spends so much of its time on politics rather than revolution.

‘The Fifth Estate’ is a well-shot, decently acted exercise in missing the point. You miss nothing by avoiding it, and there are quite a few better examinations of the changes wrought by Chelsea Manning and a whole host of other imperiled whistleblowers available on the YouTubes.

This post was written by MisterDee

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