WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has overtly criticized the new DreamWorks movie “The Fifth Estate” claiming that is a “massive propaganda attack.”
Speaking via video-link from his refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Assange made the claim in an Oxford Union debate during a talk with students at Oxford University.
“The Fifth Estate” is Hollywood’s look at WikiLeak’s “heady, early days” and stars renowned British actor Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange and Daniel Brühl (of Inglourious Basterds fame) as activist and former WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg. It is being directed by Bill Condon and also stars David Thewlis, Anthony Mackie, Laura Linney and Peter Capaldi. It is scheduled for release in November of 2013.
The film is said to be based on a book written by Domscheit-Berg entitled ‘Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website’ and ‘WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy’ by Guardian writers David Leigh and Luke Harding.
During the debate, Assange was seen holding what he purported to be a script from the movie that was written by Josh Singer, however he did not show it to the camera.
Assange claimed that the movie is an “inflammatory attack on Iran” as its opening scenes are inside a military complex in Iran where nuclear symbols are clearly visible. Assange sees this as a suggestion that Iran is constructing nuclear weapons and this is an obvious attempt at “fanning the flames” of war. He said: “How does this have anything to do with us? It is a lie upon lie…The movie is a massive propaganda attack on WikiLeaks and the character of my staff.”
Assange also quoted from a scene in which scientists were shown meeting with a U.S. agent and asked how a “lie gets into a script about WikiLeaks?”
In statement via DreamWorks, director Condon said:
“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.”
Assange has been at the Ecuadorian Embassy since August, when he was offered asylum in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden where he faces allegations of sexual assault and rape. He has also spoken outwardly about his fear of being extradited to the U.S. where he believes federal authorities will try to prosecute him for his WikiLeaks activism.