2013 Sundance Docs in Focus: WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS

we steal secretsAcademy Award-winning director and Sundance alum Alex Gibney’s newest film continues my profiles of this year’s Documentary Premieres section: WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS

Sundance Program Description:

Julian Assange. Bradley Manning. Collateral murder. Cablegate. WikiLeaks. These people and terms have exploded into public consciousness by fundamentally changing the way democratic societies deal with privacy, secrecy, and the right to information, perhaps for generations to come. WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS is an extensive examination of all things related to WikiLeaks and the larger global debate over access to information.

Having exposed institutions like Enron, the U.S. Army, and Congress, Academy Award–winner Alex Gibney now tells the gripping story of what happens when an incredibly small group of people decide to break open the intelligence vaults of the most powerful nation on the planet. Eschewing the simplicity of heroes and villains, Gibney unearths a tangled web of incredible bravery, high ideals, questionable ethics, and stunning hypocrisy. Through it all, WE STEAL SECRETS proves the power of individuals to shape our world.

Some Background:
Gibney has previously been to Park City with MAGIC TRIP (2011), CASINO JACK AND THE UNITED STATES OF MONEY (2010), GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR HUNTER S THOMPSON (2008), and ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM (2005). Other Sundance titles he’s produced or executive produced include fellow 2013 Documentary Premieres entry HISTORY OF THE EAGLES PART ONE, LOVE COMES LATELY (2008), NO END IN SIGHT (2007), WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR? (2006), and THE BLUES (2003). Joining him as producers here are Marc Shmuger, former head of Universal and executive producer of US Dramatic Competition title THE SPECTACULAR NOW; and Alexis Bloom, a journalist who has produced for PBS’ FRONTLINE and for National Geographic; as well as supervising producer Sam Black, who served as associate producer or co-producer on several of Gibney’s past documentaries.

Why You Should Watch:
Given Gibney’s track record with investigative documentary filmmaking, his take on the controversial Julian Assange and WikiLeaks has been eagerly anticipated for some time. Untangling the myths from the reality, and tackling the complex and thorny questions of freedom of information vs privacy and national security that WikiLeaks throws into bold relief, Gibney’s film will be one of the hottest documentary tickets at this year’s festival.

More Info:
Though the film doesn’t have a website yet, information on Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions may be found here. For screening dates and times at Sundance, click the link in the first paragraph.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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