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    June 22, 2013

    MOVIE REVIEW: WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS

    Julian Assange started his three-decade cyber-campaign as a young hacker in Melbourne during the early days of internet before moving up a step into computer programming. Assange was arrested for multiple counts of hacking by the Australian government but was later released by bail. After the turn of the century, Assange went on to establish Wikileaks, a non-profit organization aiming to uncover the truth behind the classified documents and secret information that government have long hidden. Then, Wikileaks began to garner more media attention and bigger popularity in 2010 after the fall of Icelandic banking system. Assange became an overnight champion for the people who wants nothing more than the freedom of press, truth and structural transparency. But a sex scandal in Sweden that same year, coupled with his further exposure on American's “real” war at Afghanistan and Iraq, quickly ascended Assange into becoming a “fugitive”.



    Genre: Documentary
    Classification: Not Rated
    Release Date: Not Released
    Running Time: 130 minutes
    Distributor: Focus World
    Director: Alex Gibney
    Screenplay: Alex Gbney
    Starring: -

    Plot: Acclaimed documentarian Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) takes the reins for this no-holds-barred look at one of the most unusual phenomena of early 21st century media. In 2006, an Iceland-based outfit called The Sunshine Press launched the website WikiLeaks.org. As run by Australian Internet activist Julian Assange, the site's mandate involved regularly publishing top-secret documents and covert information, often regarding governments and their respective military operations. As might be expected, this set off a firestorm between those who admired the organization's bravado and resourcefulness, and those who argued, not unjustly, that the dissemination of data regarding such events as the U.S. war in Afghanistan could put untold numbers of lives at risk. In We Steal Secrets, Gibney relays the story of the WikiLeaks website from the inside, and moves beyond black and white to penetrate a complex network of activity guided by courage and idealism but also allegedly guilty of ethical insensitivity and hypocrisy.
    We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks is Alex Gibney’s latest documentary, one that prominently discusses about two important figures that shape Wikileaks on what it is today – a young man known as Bradley Manning and Assange himself. Unfortunately, this documentary is dogged by some pretty serious problems and allegations. It is correct to assume that this opportunity in making such a prolific documentary movie must illustrate both the rise and fall for the founder of Wikileaks. But this insightful-yet-wildly derived documentary from Alex Gibney whose resume has been pretty much about making decent documentary, carries a mixed bag of everything in its storyline.

    Everything that is been presented in this documentary – facts, events and causative impacts are pretty much discussed only by the third party and someone who used to work with Wikileaks. The first problem, hence, is this documentary is been edited as if we are watching two very distinguished documentaries which vary in tone – the first been championing Assange meteoric success while the next spends almost everything to try to discredit the same man they championed. Hence, this documentary is pretty derivative in nature and contradictories work with wonder and mostly suggestive. Then, the second problem is that there is no Julian Assange in the documentary. All we got is just archive footage and Gibney did not even interview the man to check-and-balance whatever are the centre of points, facts and accusations been thrown. Further background checks on these people will likely results in unfavourable circumstances like disgruntled former employee and dubious friends and associates. Gibney is been quite careless when he is dishing out the idea which results in this documentary, with no surprise, plenty of errors were counter-argued successfully by Wikileaks at this link.

    While strays from Gibney's other impressive works which include Client 9 (a recap into the life of Eliot Spitzer), Enron (biggest business scandal in US) and Taxi to the Dark Side, among others; this Wikileaks documentary is still getting credits where it dues. With the expertise held, Gibney is still the same brilliant filmmaker whose senses relied on building a cognitive, pragmatic and resourceful magnate. In a great desire to enjoy a documentary with fair story and credible facts, this can either makes you want to sink in more or to make you deter it. It is true that Gibney did present a well-balanced content but not without so much error that everything seems to matter.

    MY RATING:
    Story: 2.5
    Casts: 3.0
    Cinematography: 3.0
    Effects: 3.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 10.9/20.0

    We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks
    Last Reviewed by Bernard Patrick Chung on June 22 2013
    Rating: 2.5

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