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Freedom Downtime (2001)

Unrated  |   |  Documentary, Adventure  |  22 September 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 774 users  
Reviews: 19 user

A feature length documentary about the Free Kevin movement and the hacker world.


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Credited cast:
Mark Abene ...
Himself (as Phiber Optik)
Ed Cummings ...
Himself (as Bernie S.)
Robert Darlington ...
Alexis Kasperavicius ...
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John Markoff ...
Tsutomu Shimomura ...
Himself (archive footage)
Jeffrey Stanton ...
Himself (as Cellularguy)
Bruce Sterling ...
Deth Veggie ...


Computer hackers are being portrayed as the newest brand of terrorists. This is a story of a hacker named Kevin Mitnick, imprisoned without bail for nearly five years. Freedom Downtime tries to uncover the reasons why the authorities are so scared of Mitnick as well as define what exactly he did. Surprisingly, no real evidence is ever presented by the authorities to back up the sensationalist claims in mass media. But when a Hollywood studio decides to make a movie about Mitnick's life through the eyes of one of his accusers, hackers turn to activism to get their message out. Through interviews with relatives, friends, lawyers, and experts in the computer and civil liberties arena, a picture of a great injustice becomes apparent. A cross-country journey uncovers some realities of the hacker culture as well as the sobering fact that so many technically young adept people are being imprisoned. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

22 September 2001 (USA)  »

Box Office


$25,000 (estimated)

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Did You Know?


Editing was done on a 333MHz Macintosh G3 with about 500GB of disk space running EditDV, which was serious power at the time. See more »


XaiL: Sure, I may have hacked NASA. But I mean... Who hasn't?
See more »


References Takedown (2000) See more »


Helicopters Over Philly
Performed by 'Theta Wave State'
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User Reviews

watch this... this film will change your view on the US criminal "justice" system
5 June 2002 | by (fairfax, va) – See all my reviews

before i comment, i am not a hacker

before i watched this film, i knew little about kevins case(s) other than the fact that he had been held for over 3 years without a trial. i was baffled by the way the court system treated him. the courts held kevin in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT for 8 months because they were afraid he was going to hack their phone system!!! how are you going to hack a phone with no hacking tools?! did they think he was going to make a device out of spoons and a napkin or something? so they put him in solitary with murderers, rapists, armed robbers, and other violent criminals. this man had evidence that he had viewed source code from novell and sun, and made a few free phone calls. the only reason he was put in solitary was because of the media's view on him.

not only were kevin's countless beatdowns from the government a big wakeup call to how i think about the court system, the other testimonials from hackers in the film were very moving. namely the testimonial from "Bearnie S." who was imprisoned because he had a box of "crystals" that could allow him to make free phone calls. he was severely beaten in jail, and was denied health care for several hours, and in the hospital was denied ANY pain killers (even aspirin or tylenol) for 2 days after having surgery.

think the court system relies on justice? wrong. the media, racism/classism, propaganda, money, and other political influences are what controls the courts now. if this is the tesimonial of only a few hackers, imagine what horrible things have been done to minorities, non-violent drug criminals, and so on. watch this film. you will be informed and entertained at the same time.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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