[WikiLeaks] The Trust Fall: Julian Assange...partisan portrait of WikiLeaks man
[WikiLeaks] The Trust Fall: Julian Assange...partisan portrait of WikiLeaks man
  • Yoo Jin, Reporter
  • 승인 2024.03.19 06:54
  • 수정 2024.03.19 06:54
  • 댓글 0
이 기사를 공유합니다

Kym Staton’s documentary recruits a starry cast of fierce defenders of the imprisoned leaker but makes no room for the case against
Julian Assange has now been in the maximum-security facilities of Belmarsh Prison for over 1,000 days. [Source= Independent Australia]
Julian Assange has now been in the maximum-security facilities of Belmarsh Prison for over 1,000 days. [Source= Independent Australia]

Remember Julian Assange? Having dominated headlines in the 2010s, the WikiLeaks founder has dropped out of sight having been confined at London’s Belmarsh prison since 2019.

And that was kind of the plan, this impassioned documentary asserts, with the aid of staunch defenders including the late John Pilger, Tariq Ali, Jill Stein, Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsworth and Assange family members. “The persecution of Julian has been a long, slow form of killing somebody,” says Pilger; witnessing Assange’s trajectory from a buccaneering truth-teller to a frail, mentally damaged prisoner, perpetually denied justice, it’s hard to disagree.

According to this documentary by Australian film-maker Kym Staton, Assange has been subject to a coordinated smear campaign. It argues that the 2010 rape allegations against Assange by two Swedish women were “trumped up” – although given that we only hear one side of the argument, it is impossible for viewers to come to any informed conclusion on a complex case. (Assange was never formally charged and the investigation was closed in 2019.) 

Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London demonstrate against his possible extradition to the U.S., on February 21, 2024. (Reuters/ Yonhap)
Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London demonstrate against his possible extradition to the U.S., on February 21, 2024. (Reuters/ Yonhap)

That’s an issue throughout this two-hour film. Certainly Assange’s fears of extradition to the US if he went to Sweden were well founded, hence his skipping bail and seeking refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London, where he lived for seven years. The film documents in detail WikiLeaks’ role in exposing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, including graphic footage of a helicopter attack in Baghdad in 2007 that killed several innocent civilians and two Reuters photographers. And it convincingly argues that the US has sought to punish him ever since, aided by successive, supine UK and Australian governments.

Again, the arguments are complex in terms of legal process and freedom of expression, and this documentary is only really interested in making the case for Assange’s defence. There is no mention, for example, of WikiLeaks’ role in leaking the Democratic National Committee emails in 2016 that harmed Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and paved the way for Donald Trump’s election.

A Julian Assange supporter rallies ahead of the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid on June 26. (AFP=Yonhap)
A Julian Assange supporter rallies ahead of the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid on June 26. (AFP=Yonhap)

Whatever the case, there remains the glaring fact that Assange has been criminally charged for leaking information, while those who committed the considerably greater crimes of fabricating the pretext for the Iraq war then conducting it so brutally, including through torture, rendition and extrajudicial killings, go entirely unpunished.

In bringing this argument to a rousing conclusion, however, this film overstates its case somewhat, with an extended series of dreamlike animated montages, backed by florid, almost biblical prose read by the likes of Roger Waters, Tom Morello and MIA: “He channelled leaks through a stream of innovation, along a river of diligence, to a lake of truth.”

The jury is literally out on Assange – in that there’s little prospect of him receiving justice any time soon – and that’s really the problem (or, if you like, the plan). The film is admirable, if entirely one-sided, in its sincere commitment, but its persuasiveness will really depend on where you already stand on the issues.

* The Trust Fall: Julian Assange is in UK cinemas from 15 March, and is screening now in Australian cinemas.

 

WikiLeaks/ The Guardian

Free Assange Campaign /AP
Free Assange Campaign /AP
Persecusion of Julian Assange. /Pressenza
Persecusion of Julian Assange. /Pressenza
Free Assange Campaign. /Pressenza
Free Assange Campaign. /Pressenza
Julian Assange /AP=Yonhap
Julian Assange /AP=Yonhap
Activists take part in the “Garrison for Julian Assange” in Piazza del Campidoglio, Rome, on July 28, 2023. / AP Yonphap
Activists take part in the “Garrison for Julian Assange” in Piazza del Campidoglio, Rome, on July 28, 2023. / AP Yonphap
Julian Assange /Al Jazeera
Julian Assange /Al Jazeera
Julian Assange. /Boulder Weekly
Julian Assange. /Boulder Weekly

 

yoojin@wikileaks-kr.org

기자가 쓴 기사

  • 서울특별시 마포구 마포대로 127, 1001호 (공덕동, 풍림빌딩)
  • 대표전화 : 02-702-2677
  • 팩스 : 02-702-1677
  • 청소년보호책임자 : 소정원
  • 법인명 : 위키리크스한국 주식회사
  • 제호 : 위키리크스한국
  • 등록번호 : 서울 아 04701
  • 등록일 : 2013-07-18
  • 발행일 : 2013-07-18
  • 발행인 : 박정규
  • 편집인 : 박찬흥
  • 위키리크스한국은 자체 기사윤리 심의 전문위원제를 운영합니다.
  • 기사윤리 심의 : 박지훈 변호사
  • 위키리크스한국 모든 콘텐츠(영상,기사, 사진)는 저작권법의 보호를 받은바, 무단 전재와 복사, 배포 등을 금합니다.
  • Copyright © 2024 위키리크스한국. All rights reserved.
  • [위키리크스한국 보도원칙] 본 매체는 독자와 취재원 등 뉴스 이용자의 권리 보장을 위해 반론이나 정정보도, 추후보도를 요청할 수 있는 창구를 열어두고 있음을 알립니다.
    고충처리 : 02-702-2677 | 메일 : laputa813@wikileaks-kr.org
ND소프트