Published on June 24th, 2013 | by Allan Brown0
EIFF 2013: We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks Review
Movie Review: We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2013)
Director: Alex Gibney
Writer: Alex Gibney
Cast: Julian Assange, Adrian Lamo, Bradley Manning
Plot: A documentary detailing the rise and fall of Julian Assange’s controversial website WikiLeaks, which was responsible for the largest security breach in U.S. history.
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks is documentary from filmmaker Alex Gibney, examining the rise and fall of the controversial WikiLeaks organisation.
Gibney tells the story of Julian Assange and his courageous endeavours to challenge authority with its own horrifying and barbaric evidence. Once Gibney establishes all the main players from WikiLeaks staff all the way to major government officials including ex CIA director Michael Hayden, he goes on to tell the story of Pvt. Bradley Manning.
Manning, was a united states soldier assigned to a unit near Baghdad. There he had access to databases used by the United States government to transmit classified information. Troubled by what he had read and seen in these documents, Manning decided to reach out. When the classified information was eventually leaked to the public by Manning via Adrian Lamo via WikiLeaks including the infamous ‘Baghdad Airstrike Video‘ (aka Collateral Murder), Julian Assange became the U.S. Government’s target and public enemy No.1.
The film is made up of archival footage of news articles, photos, apache gunship footage and interviews with all the original WikiLeaks staff members and main players of U.S. Government departments including the CIA and FBI. This is all told in chronological order which helps build up tension and thus making it a more compelling and riveting watch.
The film ultimately draws to a damning conclusion, arguing that WikiLeaks that once began as a decentralized publishing organisation, became more a tool to allow Assange to evade moral responsibility, not just for publishing classified information, but also for other misdemeanours in his private life.
Summary: We Steal Secrets: The WikiLeaks story is an impressive, informative and truly captivating watch, offering a more intimate look into Julian Assange and Bradley Manning, something that a mainstream news bite or report could never do. One of the finest documentary films I have seen in recent times and quite simply a must see.