Get ready for The Fifth Estate.
With the UK release scheduled for 11 October followed by the October 18 premiere in the United States, The Fifth Estate starring Benedict Cumberbatch who took a break from STar Trek, The Hobbit and Sherlock to star as Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, plunges us into the age of high-stakes secrecy, explosive news leaks and the trafficking of classified information.
As Benedict Cumberbatch and the film’s director, Bill Condon, reveal in this short feature, the film is more about citizen journalism in the internet age with the title of the film taking it’s name from the phrase attributed to bloggers and online journalists who often position themselves as watchdogs to traditional media than it is about determining whether or not transparency in the form of Wikileaks is good or bad.
As you can see. they are clear from the outset that this is not a documentary but merely an attempt to show all sides of an issue in the form of a journalistic cinematic thriller. Besides Benedict Cumberbatch, the film boasts a stellar cast including Daniel Brühl, Stanley Tucci, Laura Linney and Peter Capaldi.
Based, in part, on Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s book about Wikileaks and its founder, THE FIFTH ESTATE reveals the website’s central purpose to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that, ultimately, turned the Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organization. The story begins as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) team up to become underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. On a shoestring, they create a platform that allows whistleblowers to anonymously leak covert data, shining light on the dark recesses of government secrets and corporate crimes. Soon, they are breaking more hard news than the world’s most legendary media organizations combined. But its when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history, that they begin to battle each other and raise the ultimate defining question of our time — what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society, and what are the costs of exposing them?”
No matter what side you come down on with respect to Wikileaks and/or Julian Assange, this really looks like it will be worth the time and effort to see.