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Freedom Downtime (2001)

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


Emmanuel Goldstein
1 win. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Mark Abene Mark Abene ... Self (as Phiber Optik)
Ed Cummings Ed Cummings ... Self (as Bernie S.)
Robert Darlington Robert Darlington ... Professor
Emmanuel Goldstein ... Self
Sean Gullette ... Self
Alexis Kasperavicius Alexis Kasperavicius ... Self (as Alex Kasper)
Lazlow ... Self (as Lazlow Jones)
John Markoff ... Self
Kevin Mitnick Kevin Mitnick ... Self
Tsutomu Shimomura Tsutomu Shimomura ... Self (archive footage)
Jeffrey Stanton Jeffrey Stanton ... Self (as Cellularguy)
Bruce Sterling ... Self
Deth Veggie Deth Veggie ... Self


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-adept young people are being imprisoned.

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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


All throughout filming, Emmanuel Goldstein and the crew continued the weekly radio show "Off The Hook"...calling in to the radio station from a payphone wherever they happened to be that week. See more »


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


References Takedown (2000) See more »


Performed by 'Theta Wave State'
See more »

User Reviews

An important documentary, though technically not perfect
29 June 2007 | by zergisSee all my reviews

This is an interesting documentary about a subject that is often ignored - the court's and police's lack of knowledge about anything connected to a network, and medias habit of twisting or ignoring facts when they see they can make more money. As a non-American, there are some things that I don't get, but over all the film is very good at telling us how things work, and in my country (Sweden), the events in this film might get another point of view, since the police raid on the pirate bay in April 2006, where many things got eerily similar to what happened to Mitnick.

In a film making point of view Freedom Downtime is lacking though, the editing could be better, and the sound mixing got some flaws (but I must say it was a long time since I saw the film, so I could remember incorrectly). Still, this is a must see for anyone interested in the hacker community, or the odd behaviour of the "justice".

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English | French | German | Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

22 September 2001 (USA) See more »


Box Office


$25,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

2600 Films See more »
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