Screened as part of NZIFF 2010
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