Friday, May 6, 2011

Why the Wikileaks movies matter

Starting in late 2011, the big movie studios will release mainstream movies about Wikileaks.  They matter.

So far, the public's perception of Wikileaks has been shaped almost entirely by the brief snippets of TV news reports.  Because mainstream news outlets are focused on tabloid and scandal, most of these news snippets have mentioned the sexual assault charges against Julian Assange.  In short, sex sells. 

TV news outlets don't mention the results of leaks, because the result is "transparency" -- a concept that is not nearly as attractive to viewers as a story about sex.  The results is that these articles give Wikileaks a tabloid feel, tainted by the allegations against Assange.

Most of the public's perception of Wikileaks ends there -- that a Swede named Assange has been accused of some sex crime or another ("hey, it's just like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo!").  Most of the country doesn't read online message boards and discuss just how much Wikileaks matters.  They just don't know the full story.

But a movie format will give the producer and director enough time to explain why Wikileaks matters in a larger context.  A movie can present not just what Wikileaks is, but why it matters.  A movie will be able to show how Bradley Manning's life has been changed by Wikileaks.  It will show why transparency is changing corporations and governments to be more open and honest with the people.

Most importantly, the big studio movies will reach a mainstream audience.  There are already documentaries like WikiRebels on Youtube, but fewer than 100,000 people have watched it all the way through.  In contrast, a big studio release or an HBO movie can reach that many people in just one weekend --- and start a worldwide conversation about Wikileaks.

The movies matter.  They will introduce Wikileaks to the suburban audience that votes, but doesn't read online message boards.  They will bring the message of transparency to a new audience.

Here are the big studio projects that are known to be in production might make an impact by late 2011 or early 2012:

 - HBO (Director Charles Ferguson)
 - Universal Studios (Director Alex Gibney; Producer Marc Shmuger)
 - Dreamworks (unknown)

Are there any we're misisng?


  1. There is a full version on Youtube so you don't need to watch it in parts:

  2. Thank you for shared information

    According to, Marc Shmuger will produce a film based on
    the controversial Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange.
    Marc Shmuger of Global Produce, the name of his new Universal based company,
    will produce the film, along with Alex Gibney as director.
    The Wikileaks movie will be what Shuger calls his “labor of love.”
    Shmuger previously chaired at Universal for a little more than three years
    before his departure in 2009