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Joshua L. Dratel
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I can see why Assange wouldn't appreciate it, but it's informative nevertheless
After viewing We Steal Secrets, you will have a sense that you know Julian Assange and Bradley Manning much better than you could simply by reading mainstream news reports on either one of them.
It's easy to understand why Assange would disapprove of Gibney's portrayal of the Wikileaks founder. Assange is a man with passion, vision and uncommon talent who accomplished something many of us would have considered impossible or at minimum, too daunting. But we now know it changed the dynamics of international relations in very real ways.
Besides his technical brilliance, Assange is possessed of tremendous arrogance. Without it, he most certainly would have been intimidated and stifled well before causing the controversies that made him an overnight rock star of cyberspace.
Bradley Manning -- the movie sheds light on why he did what he did, and HOW he was able to do it, right under the noses of his colleagues and supervisors. In doing so, we come to understand much more about the American military culture in Iraq than even the most devoted news junkie could get from corporate news outlets.
Where other documentaries merely regurgitate what news readers already know, this one goes far beyond.
One criticism I'd make is that the title, We Steal Secrets, is misleading. It is a quote from former CIA director Michael Hayden referring to the US government stealing secrets, NOT Wikileaks.
After a first draft of this review, I read one with incisive insight written by Chris Hedges. He may have had the opportunity to view the movie more than once. Or at least it seems that way given the incredible depth and detail in his surgically precise cutting through producer Alex Gibney's tactics. Why was Assange's human imperfection highlighted. Then, in contrast, former CIA director Michael Hayden's perspective (the American government's point of view), on how the revelation of the documents and videos provided by PFC Manning harmed American interests is taken for granted.
The movie, however, IS the story of Wikileaks, Assange and Manning, and is worth your time. It's longer than most other political documentaries, but will not leave you bored. Then read through Chris Hedges very detailed review.
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