Assange: WikiLeaks film 'The Fifth Estate' a ‘propaganda attack’

Posted Jan 24, 2013 by Anne Sewell
Julian Assange got hold of a copy of the script for the upcoming Hollywood film about WikiLeaks, "The Fifth Estate." After reading it, he has called it "a massive propaganda attack."
Julian Assange gives Christmas speech to his supporters from the Ecuadorian Embassy London.
Julian Assange gives Christmas speech to his supporters from the Ecuadorian Embassy London.
Speaking to students of Britain's Oxford University on Wednesday via video link from the Ecuadorian Embassy, Assange denounced the film as "a lie." He spent over an hour talking to the union, which was celebrating whistleblowers.
Assange lashed out at Hollywood over the movie, not only saying it was a propaganda attack against the whistleblowing website, WikiLeaks, but also accusing the film of fanning “flames of war” against Iran.
On Wednesday, DreamWorks Studios announced that "The Fifth Estate", a film starring British actor Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange, will be released in the US in November this year. However, the film's director says the film "will not try to pass final judgment on Assange."
When describing the project, DreamWorks said, "'The Fifth Estate' traces the heady, early days of WikiLeaks, culminating in the release of a series of controversial and history changing information leaks."
However, among the "controversial and history changing leaks" featured in the film is the implication that Iran is working on a nuclear bomb. Assange immediately rejects such a notion and claims that the film “fans the flames to start a war with Iran.”
Reading from the script, Assange said the opening scene was set inside a military complex in Iran with documents containing nuclear symbols. “How does this have anything to do with us?” Assange asked.
Again quoting from the script, he says that scientists are seen meeting a US agent. "How is it that a lie gets into a script about WikiLeaks?"
The film's director, Bill Condon, who directed the final two "Twilight" films, said in a statement, "It may be decades before we understand the full impact of WikiLeaks and how it's revolutionized the spread of information."
"So this film won't claim any long view authority on its subject, or attempt any final judgment. We want to explore the complexities and challenges of transparency in the information age and, we hope, enliven and enrich the conversations WikiLeaks has already provoked."
However, Assange disagrees with this statement saying, "It is a lie upon lie. The movie is a massive propaganda attack on WikiLeaks and the character of my staff."
Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy since June 19, 2012 when he entered the embassy seeking political asylum. Ecuador granted him this asylum, but he is unable to leave the embassy as the UK will not grant him safe passage. Should he step outside the door, he would immediately be arrested and sent to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in alleged sex crimes.
The biggest fear is that should he be sent to Sweden, he would then be extradited on to the US, where he is wanted on "espionage" charges for the release of sensitive documents by WikiLeaks that both embarrassed and angered the US government.