To Celebrate The Release Of WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS Universal Pictures and The Lowdown Under Are Not So Secretly Giving Away (Or Letting You Steal…) 10 Double Passes To See The Film When It Releases In Australia On Thursday July 4, 2013!
Synopsis: Filmed with the startling immediacy of unfolding history, Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney’s We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks is a riveting, multi-layered tale about transparency in the information age and our ever-elusive search for the truth. Detailing the creation of Julian Assange’s controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history, the film charts the enigmatic Assange’s rise and fall in parallel with that of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the brilliant, troubled young soldier who downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents from classified U.S. military and diplomatic servers.
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Email [email protected] with ‘I’M TRYIN’ TO STEAL YOUR WIKILEAKIN’ SECRETS‘ in the message header and your mailing address in the body.
Entries Open: NOW – To Australian Lowdowners Only!
Entries Close: Sunday June 30, 2013 @ 11.59pm AEST. Winners Selected At Random.
Aza absolutely loved this movie & calls it the best, most paranoid thriller of the year – check out his review:
Lowdowners I need to confess something. I’m ashamed to admit it but whilst the whole WikiLeaks affair was going on I didn’t pay any attention to it. I know. Shame on me. Yeah I knew the name Julian Assange, I knew what his philosophy was regarding secret information and I knew he was a Melburnian. But me being me simply thought Wikileaks was an adjunct to Wikipedia and I dismissed it almost instantly. (‘For Shame’ I hear you cry!) Having said all that it did mean that I walked into WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS with a completely clean slate – no expectation, no prior knowledge of any depth, just a willingness to be educated.
Alex Gibney (Taxi To The Darkside, Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room) has fashioned a documentary which is as polished and exploratory as it is thrilling. His lucid narrative structure, armed to the hilt with anecdotal and archival evidence, makes for one of the best documentaries I’ve seen in years. This documentary isn’t just about Julian Assange and his rise from anarchic hacker to freedom of information advocate , it’s also about the impact WikiLeaks had on its key players, the media and the global village.
There is little doubt that Assange enjoyed the celebrity status his website delivered. There is no doubt that the documentation WikiLeaks revealed irrevocably changed the way big corporation and government communicate. What Gibney and his team present to you is that this was more than just one man involved, there were players across the globe and the fallout of their actions needs to be shown.
From the global underground support of WikiLeaks, the governmental condemnation of Assange, the rise of the Hacktivists, the paranoia of a man in the centre of the storm to the collateral damage caused by bruised egos – WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS is one of the best paranoid thrillers in recent memory.
The whole philosophy of freedom of information is a noble one but in reality it exists in a world filled with grey areas. A man who professes that all information belongs in the public domain but then remains silent or evasive when allegations arise about him. Governments who profess to be doing right by their citizens and the global community but yet hide damning evidence to the contrary. Is our truth defined by global hypocrisy? And what are we to make of the ‘revolutionaries’ when they themselves aren’t being entirely honest? Who stands to gain/lose from such relinquishes? These are the sorts of questions that WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS poses.
Alex Gibney has delivered an engrossing, provocative and disciplined documentary. It’s one that anyone with an interest of privacy, online security and freedom speech should see. It is a cracking, informative and thrilling piece of cinema and shouldn’t be missed.
Best of all – I walked out of it with more questions than when I went in and to me that is the best indicator that you’ve just watched something a cut above. Put this high on your list of must sees.
Even Stephen dug it! – check out his review
he Sydney Film Festival kicks off today, with a strong showing for docos seeing over 50 national and international offerings, including the latest from Alex Gibney, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks.
The cult of Julian Assange is such that it’s almost impossible to talk about WikiLeaks as an organisation without conflating it with his alleged misdemeanours and secretion within the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
As small an outfit as it is, there’s more to WikiLeaks than Assange. Former journalist turned documentary maker Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in The Room, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House of God) has crafted an engaging and impressively slick doco that broadens the scope commendably.
Bombarding us with a deluge of information as vast as the infamous leaks themselves, he never loses track of the story and its eccentric cast of renegades, including Private Bradley Manning, the man who allegedly leaked the US embassy cables and the infamous video footage of a helicopter gunning down innocents to the blood-curdling celebrations of its crew.
Finally facing trial three years after his arrest, his input comes in the form of his surprisingly moving emails that seem to suggest a lost soul trying to do the right thing while coping with his own identity crisis.
His trusted confidante, fellow tech geek and infamous hacker Adrian Lamo, comes across as less sympathetic. A rather shady character with dubious intentions, he professes to wear masks like an actor, and also claims to have Aspergers.
Who knew there were other WikiLeaks employees? As several testify to camera, what started as a manifesto to expose government corruption and keep information free, soon got lost in the complexities of Assange’s personal ambitions. He’s lost a few friends, and colleagues, along the way, shall we say?
Assange himself does not come across well either. The man himself is only present via archive footage, having refused Gibney an interview except on two equally-whacked out conditions, which the director declines.
There are US government officials, past and present, and a Guardian journalist too. Indeed, the New York Times, Guardian and co don’t fare that well either, having been perfectly willing to blow the whistle, but then backing off as soon as the heat rose.
A stunning opening sequence splicing stock NASA footage with slick, computer-generated rays of information dancing across the globe demonstrates Gibney’s ability to seamlessly blend talking heads, text and striking imagery and enthuse it with electricity. The impressive reach of this doco is breathtaking and, unlike the more heavy handed work of Michael Moore, allows you the space to draw your own conclusions on this motley crew.
Any film that works in the term ‘worm wanker’ within the first five minutes is gold in my book. While we do start with Assange’s rise as a young Melbourne-based hacker whose ability to bust into government systems appears to know no bounds, it’s a refreshing exploration indeed that looks beyond the man, and into the wider ramifications of WikiLeaks as a whole.
WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS releases in AUSTRALIA on JULY 4, 2013 through UNIVERSAL PICTURES