Julian Assange is certainly a figure who divides people into staunch camps. Some see him as a hero whose Wikileaks has fought for government transparency, while others view him as a villain who’s put soldier’s lives at risk and made life easier for terrorists.
But whatever side you’re on, Assange himself is an interesting if rather strange figure (like many whistleblowers, irrespective of whether he’s right or wrong, he often comes across as a bit of a dick). Now Benedict Cumberbatch is taking him on in The Fifth Estate, which has already caused controversy with some deciding it’s going to be a hatchet job and going on the offensive, while others have attacked it in case it’s an apologia for a man they see as a traitor.
We can get our first feel for the film now that a trailer has been released.
Here’s the synopsis: ‘Triggering our age of high-stakes secrecy, explosive news leaks and the trafficking of classified information, WikiLeaks forever changed the game. Now, in a dramatic thriller based on real events, THE FIFTH ESTATE reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organization.
‘The story begins as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) team up to become underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. On a shoestring, they create a platform that allows whistleblowers to anonymously leak covert data, shining a light on the dark recesses of government secrets and corporate crimes.
‘Soon, they are breaking more hard news than the world’s most legendary media organizations combined. But when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history, they battle each other and a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society—and what are the costs of exposing them?”
‘The Fifth Estate is presented by DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment in association with Participant Media and is produced by Steve Golin and Michael Sugar, with Bill Condon directing. The screenplay is by Josh Singer, based on the book “Inside WikiLeaks” by Daniel Domscheit-Berg and the Guardian book “WikiLeaks” by David Leigh and Luke Harding. The film will be released in U.S. theaters on October 18, 2013. [Read more…]