WikiLeaks attacks 'Fifth Estate', film about it and its founder Assange
WikiLeaks has posted the script to The Fifth Estate online and made its most forceful denunciation of the film about the site's creation and its colorful founder.
The whistle-blower website posted a memo calling the movie "irresponsible, counterproductive and harmful".
The DreamWorks film, which Disney will release on October 18, chronicles the birth of WikiLeaks with Benedict Cumberbatch playing site founder Julian Assange.
Assange has previously called The Fifth Estate "a massive propaganda attack". In a lengthy, point-by-point posting, WikiLeaks criticised the film's depiction of WikiLeaks, disputing everything from its suggestion that documents the site released put confidential sources in danger, to the idea that Assange dyes his hair.
"Most of the events depicted never happened, or the people shown were not involved in them," reads the posting.
"It has real names, real places and looks like it is covering real events, but it is still a dramatic and cinematic work, and it invents or shapes the facts to fit its narrative goals."
The WikiLeaks memo stated that it was judging the film from "a mature" script from late in production, not the finished film.
The screenplay by Josh Singer was partly based on Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange and the World's Most Dangerous Website, by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, an early WikiLeaks collaborator who publicly and bitterly fell out with Assange, and WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy by British journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding. Assange has been critical of both.
The film, which premiered this month at the Toronto International Film Festival, portrays Assange as a visionary with democratic ideals for information and altruistic motives for whistle-blowers, but also as a lying, reckless revolutionary who ultimately sabotages his own creation by his refusal to consider the lives of revealed sources in published documents.
In an earlier interview, director Bill Condon said that Assange "has the sense of (the film) being something very different than what it is".
"The idea was to present this incredibly complicated and, as we can see, relevant issue of the struggle in this age between privacy and transparency in all of its complication," said Condon. "And in a similar way, present him in all his complexity."