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The Fifth Estate

This is a film by Bill Condon about the relationship between Daniel Berg (Daniel Brohl) and Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) during the early years of WikiLeaks, based on two books, one by Daniel Berg (Inside WikiLeaks), and the other coming from the Guardian writers David Leigh and Luke Harding, simply entitled WikiLeaks.

The film starts with their meeting at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin in 2007, which is where they met, and where Julian asked Daniel to help with WikiLeaks. It follows Julian to Kenya, where he was helping to expose the police run death squads.

It details some of the other leaks that WikiLeaks enabled also like the leak of Sarah Palin’s emails, the expose of the Julius Baer bank documents which showed money laundering by the elite, and other cases, including the Icelandic Kaupthing banking collapse.

It then comes to the release of the Collateral Murder video which brought world-wide attention to WikiLeaks, and the subsequent release of the Afghan and Iraq war diaries, and the American Diplomatic Cables, and the wrath.

Although all these things figure in the movie, their significance is hardly examined or brought out, only the way it affected Julian and his relationships with others, and like last week’s documentary it just seems to try and propagate the idea that WikiLeaks’s work is less important than Julian’s character. 

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