Two weeks ago, movie goers everywhere warily made their way to their local cinema to view the latest drama to grace the big screen, a true-to-life thriller and Wikileaks exposé titled The Fifth Estate. Less than 12 hours after the premier, reviews were pouring in, posted on the internet, circulated via social media, filed noisily onto private blogs and chattered about around the water cooler. “Notable performances” by British actor Benedict Cumberbatch (whose Australian drawl and egotistical mannerisms were absurdly believable) as Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, heart-thumping sequences of high-tech mayhem, exquisite cinematography, these were all up for discussion. Yet the most direct, and arguably most important topic sparked into conversation as a result of the film was the dire reality of our current social situation: in today’s technology driven world, how much information is too much?
Anyone aware of the present state of affairs in the U.S. government (and around the world) knows the history. That Wikileaks began in 2006 as a site for whistle-blowers to dump confidential materials and top-secret information packs, horrible truths and universal injustices that were not being covered by the media. That Julian Assange, an Australian native, and his colleagues Kristinn Hrafnsson, Joseph Farrell, and Sarah Harrison, ripped up centuries of following the rule-book to lead an internet-wide revolution on common apathetic mentality. That things got out of hand and spiraled downward quickly in a hailstorm of dropped names, classified informants and overbearing bureaucracy.
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Image: The Fifth Estate