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|Originaltitel:||We steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 130 min.|
|FSK:||From 6 years|
Even before Edward Snowden, explosive revelations of secret documents caused a worldwide sensation. Julian Assange's website Wikileaks made him a hero for many, and the public enemy number one for others. Is Assange a fighter for freedom of expression or rather a ruthless terrorist and traitor? Who is this mysterious and not uncontroversial man and how did WikiLeaks come into being? Where does Assange get his information from and what role did former soldier Bradley Manning play? Filmmaker Alex Gibney tries to get to the bottom of these and many other questions in his documentary "We steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks". Based on countless interviews and archive material, he creates a very complex picture of an extremely multi-layered story in which the search for the truth about the truth-loving Julian Assange proves to be extremely difficult.
Gibney has obviously made an effort to stage a very balanced documentary. It should neither be a hymn of praise on Assange, nor a cinematic chase on the WikiLeaks founder. Gibney tries to portray the inscrutable man, tries to fathom the motivations for his very special sense of justice and at the same time shows what consequences revelations like the secret documents published on WikiLeaks have. Can there be truth at any price, or are there situations in which such revelations could also harm innocent people? These are extremely complex questions that the film deals with - and it is precisely here that its only notable weakness lies.
For the viewer is filled up with information every second for over two hours, which can only be processed to a limited extent in its abundance. Even with a great deal of interest and prior knowledge, it is difficult to follow all the contexts and find your way around the net that Gibney has carefully unravelled. Certainly: the documentary is highly interesting and exciting, it is staged in a thrilling way, it stirs up and asks some important questions, which not only opponents of Assange, but also those viewers, who think he is a hero, should deal with. There is no clear good and evil, no clearly definable right or wrong. The film emphasizes this very well.
Nevertheless, the documentary as a two-parter on television would simply be better off. Served in smaller doses, the viewer wouldn't feel so exhausted at the end, there would be enough space to reflect on what he has seen and to fathom the confused connections. We steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks" actually tells two different stories. Although these are connected, the information about Bradley Manning is pushed too much into the background by the information about Assange in order to really have a lasting effect.
Despite the enormous information overkill and the associated weaknesses, Alex Gibney has staged an important and exciting documentary that has reached an enormous topicality especially in the context of the discussions about the case of Edward Snowden. A film that is about much more than just the history of WikiLeaks. It's an essential question about the price the truth has. The cost of a cinema ticket is a good start! For attentive viewers with great interest in the subject absolutely worth seeing!
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