The Most Dangerous Man in America (image 1)

A kind of secular spiritual journey – from warrior to anti-warrior, from analyst to activist, from patriot to 'traitor'

David Denby, New Yorker

Screened as part of NZIFF 2010

The Most Dangerous Man in America 2009

Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

Directed by Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith

Oscar-nominated doco about Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 handed the NY Times a 7000-page top secret dossier revealing the truth about US involvement in Vietnam. “A straight-ahead, enthralling story of moral courage.” — New York

USA In English
94 minutes Colour and B&W / DigiBeta

Directors, Producers

Screenplay

Lawrence Lerew
,
Judith Ehrlich
,
Rick Goldsmith
,
Michael Chandler
,
Based on the book Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg

Photography

Vicente Franco
,
Dan Krauss

Editors

Michael Chandler
,
Rick Goldsmith
,
Lawrence Lerew

Sound

Nick Bertoni
,
Rick Goldsmith

Music

Blake Leyh

Narrator

Daniel Ellsberg

With

Daniel Ellsberg
,
Patricia Ellsberg
,
Anthony Russo
,
Howard Zinn
,
Janaki Natajaran
,
Randy Kehler
,
Tom Oliphant
,
Egil Krogh
,
Max Frankel
,
John Dean
,
Leonard Weinglass
,
Hedrick Smith
,
Mike Gravel
,
Mort Halperin

Festivals

Toronto, Vancouver, Amsterdam Documentary 2009

Awards

Special Jury Award, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam 2009; Nominated, Best Documentary, Academy Awards 2010

Elsewhere

Was there ever a whistle-blower with a bigger whistle than Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 handed The NY Times a massive ethical dilemma in the shape of the Pentagon Papers, a 7000-page top secret dossier revealing the truth about US involvement in Vietnam.

“A straight-ahead, enthralling story of moral courage… A marine who studied decision-making under duress, [he] fought the Cold War fight against Stalinist dictatorships, then traveled from… the Rand Corporation to the Mekong Delta. There he saw firsthand that the Vietnam War was unwinnable, made the case to his superiors, and watched in shock as they lied their asses off. The more he studied the history of Southeast Asia, the more he saw that all the presidents lied: Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and finally Nixon, who campaigned on a platform of stopping the war while in private vowing to hammer ‘this shit-ass little country’. Narrated by Ellsberg, the movie offers one revelatory interview after another… We have not celebrated Daniel Ellsberg enough. Let’s begin.” — David Edelstein, New York

“A stirring reminder of crack journalism and the importance of free press, foregrounded in an era where deceit was par for the course.” — Tim Wong, The Lumiere Reader