The Fifth Estate Review

The Fifth Estate

The fourth estate.

Ever since my days at journalism school, I’ve heard about this mythological bastion of a democratic society.

Our media is supposedly the fourth estate, that keeps our government and other powerful institutions in check by independently scrutinising and investigating what they actually get up to, not what they merely tell us they get up to.

Now, I don’t know about you, but this description describes almost none of the major news outlets in modern society.

Not that this would stop newspapers like the daily mail and its morally bankrupt editor Paul Dacre from invoking the spirit of said fourth estate, usually he’s trying to justify smearing one of our country’s war heroes in the name of keeping his tax dodging owner happy.

Not that you’d ever catch the live version of Dacre doing his lord’s dirty work, as it seems he doesn’t have the courage to back up the lies he peddles in the flesh.

But it’s thanks to lazy, lying faux journalist scum like Dacre that the fourth estate has become a myth.

In this age of super-rich media owners and profit over actual news, the fourth estate simply doesn’t exist anymore.

Which is why Julian Assange set up his wikileaks website; to take on the mantle of keeping powerful organisations in check that our media have long since abandoned.

And that’s why it’s been christened The Fifth Estate.

Admittedly, this is a rather scenic way of getting to the point; but when said scenery involves pointing out the sins of Paul Dacre and his tax dodging owner Lord Rothermere, then you make the time.

But there’s a film review to be had somewhere amongst all this.

So Daniel Berg is a German computer, ah, dude who works corporate gigs to make ends meet.

But he’s bored, which is no surprise as simply writing that out was almost enough to make me fall asleep.

Berg can’t get no satisfaction in his regular life, so he has to look for this outside of his nine-to-five routine.

And it seems like he’s found it, in the form of a mysterious organisation known as wikileaks, and an even more mysterious fellow in the person of Julian Assange.

Founder of a fledgling whistle blowing website that promises anonymity for anyone who wants to pass on the dirty little secrets of their corrupt employers; be they a bank for the capitalist elite, an oppressive political regime in Kenya or the trigger happy US army who seem to enjoy nothing more than slaughtering innocent civilians who happen to be born in the wrong country, believe in a different God to them or simply have the wrong colour skin.

Ideally, they’ll tick all of these anti-american, pro terrorist boxes.

Assange’s idea is pure, and the vacuum created by the vast majority of media outlets in the west who care more about profit or their rich owner’s personal agendas than reporting on the truths about the world we live in is now being filled by wikileaks.

Only problem being Assange seems to be as economical with the truth as the people he hopes to shine a world wide web light upon.

As the status and global popularity of his wikileaks site rises, Assange’s ego follows suit; leaving Berg with a decision to make about who he should believe in.

The Fifth Estate is the first film to be made about the now infamous Julian Assange and his wikileaks creation.

Only this is not endorsed by the man himself, and has been written by his former wikileaks colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg.

So guess who comes out of The Fifth Estate looking like the noble hero.

Of course, this might be the actual truth behind the wikileaks story, but it feels a little too convenient.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Bruhl do their usual, commendable acting performances, but if you really want to know the truth behind wikileaks I’d suggest checking out the Wikileaks – Secrets and Lies documentary that interviews all of the major players in this rather incredible story.

Jonathan Campbell

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Dates ‘n stuff

October 2013