Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Most Dangerous Man in America - 2009 - Dirs: Ehrlich/Goldsmith

Knowing absolutely nothing about Daniel Ellsberg, I was wondering how he became the most dangerous man in America. I suppose leaking Top Secret documents revealing some of America's secrets about the Vietnam war would do that. The documentary follows Ellsberg's early life as a fine, upstanding Patriotic American, who enthusiastically and voluntarily served time in Vietnam to his eventual shift to becomes an Enemy of the State. I feel like there is a somewhat uneven storytelling issue when is comes to Ellsberg's family life, if only because it can be pretty focused on how he met his wife (which was, naturally, a great sea change for him) but then I feel like I miss chunks of it and then all of a sudden he's divorced with two children. I don't mean to be a Nosey Nancy by any means but there was a lack of narrative smoothness in that respect. The rest of the doc is smooth as smoothed butter. Oh! Except for the animated sequences, which are rare but stick out like a shitty looking sore thumb. Anyway, Ellsberg's story is particularly potent because of his 180 degree change and I feel like it's rare to get such an indepth look into the whistleblower and the whistleblowing in general. The subject matter is especially interesting these days with all the wikileaks and talks of transparency and whathaveyou. It's strong documentary except for such nitpicking and certainly leads to some pondering about our relationship with our government (Man, Nixon sure was a hostile SOB!).

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