Magazine article Screen International

WikiLeaks Attacks the Fifth Estate

Magazine article Screen International

WikiLeaks Attacks the Fifth Estate

Article excerpt

WikiLeaks releases script of Dreamworks' The Fifth Estate and brands the film "irresponsible and harmful".

WikiLeaks has released what it calls a late version of DreamWorks' script for The Fifth Estate alongside a 4,000 word memo critiquing the film as "irresponsible, counterproductive and harmful".

The film, which opened the Toronto International Film Festival ealier this month, was produced by DreamWorks, among others, and will be distributed in the US by Disney.

Directed by Bill Condon, the dramatic thriller centres on news-leaking website WikiLeaks and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as founder Julian Assange, and Daniel Brühl as its former spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg.Click here to read the WikiLeaks memo

The script released to the public is, according to the whistleblowing site, "a mature version, obtained at a late stage during the principal photography of 2013".

Earlier today, the group tweeted: "As WikiLeaks was never consulted about the Dreamworks/Disney film on us, we've given our advice for free: It's bad."

The group picks apart what it sees as the film's implication that WikiLeaks' releases of classified documents from the US State Department led to the exposure and potential harming of more than 2,000 informants around the world; the central role of Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the German WikiLeaks defector upon whose memoir the film is partly based; and whether Assange actually dyes his hair white, as the film states at one point.

The memo claims the film is "a work of fiction masquerading as fact" and said: "Most of the events depicted never happened, or the people shown were not involved in them. …

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