The Fifth Estate

The theatre was surprisingly empty for a 10:00 showing on a Friday night, especially for a film featuring a well-known actor like Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek, Sherlock). The film itself was interesting and informative, based partly on Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s book Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World’s Most Dangerous Website.

The film felt like a presentation of history, as though saying, “Here are these events, and a stance on what occurred from the view of one involved. Make of it what you will.” The story covered the creation of Wikileaks by Julian Assange, and the daring involved in fighting a powerful Media empire with an army, not of numbers, but of truth.

It brings forward questions: should governments, media, and those in power provide indiscriminate transparency? Or should some things remain secret; especially when lives and political relations are endangered? Certainly, we can agree that some degree of secrecy is necessary to preserve life and global relations, yes? But would full transparency, regardless of risks, remove uncertainty and allow more rapid resolution of problems? Isn’t a path of Truth better than a road of lies?

These questions lead toward investigation, and, if only for a chance to see a brief history of a current movement towards political truth prompted by a remarkable man, The Fifth Estate is well worth the watch.


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