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Movie Review: The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers September 23, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Movie Reviews, Movie Trailer, Politics.
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reviewblogpicMovie Review: The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

Alternate Title: A Few Good Men

Story: It is hard to believe it is almost 40 years since Daniel Ellsberg leaked 7,000 pages of top-secret documents to the New York Times. His courageous actions can easily be traced to the more famous Watergate break-in and ultimate resignation of President Nixon.

This comprehensive, pro-Ellsberg film was directed by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith and written by Lawrence Lerew, Mr. Goldsmith, Ms. Ehrlich and Michael Chandler and based on the books “Secrets” and “Papers on the War” by Daniel Ellsberg. The film is also narrated by Mr. Ellsberg.

This terrific documentary connects the dots from Ellsberg origins as a top level Pentagon war strategist, ex-Marine and Rand think tank employee through his slow conversion to peace activist. His discovery, while working at the Rand Corporation, that the US Government had been lying to the public through five administrations about the build up to the Vietnam debacle convinced him he had to uncover these lies and through his actions, the Vietnam war might end.

The movie should be required viewing for all students of history, concerned citizens and present day activists who need to recharge their batteries as to what they can do as citizens who do not agree with their Government’s policies.

By the way, the term ‘ The Most Dangerous Man in Americawas coined by the #1 War Criminal on my list, Henry Kissinger.

Mr. Ellsberg has been active in civil disobedience causes for the past 30 years. For more information on him, check out his website.

Acting: This is a documentary, so acting is not a category. Other than narrator, Daniel Ellsberg the talking heads include, among others, Patricia Ellsberg, Anthony Russo, Hedrick Smith, Egil “Bud” Krogh, John Dean and Howard Zinn.

Trivia: Three quotes by Daniel Ellsberg: – If monarchy is corrupting – and it is – wait till you see what overt empire does to us. – Only we, the public, can force our representatives to reverse their abdication of the war powers that the Constitution gives exclusively to the Congress. – We were young, we were foolish, we were arrogant, but we were right.

Predilection: As a young woman I was riveted to this story as it unfolded and read all of the 7,000 pages in the New York Times.

Visual Art: Some of the ‘dramatizations’ are a bit hokey and I am head scratching as to why the directors chose to use cartoons for a few of their illustrations of events.

Theater Audience: About 30 other long time protesters.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: Whenever I see Richard Nixon and his gang I still get bothered.

Drift Factor: I was riveted throughout

Predictability Level: I lived it so was not surprised but I did not remember a few of the details and was shocked at how similar the run up to our involvement in the Vietnam War is to our involvement in Iraq.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: This film will most likely not be playing in a theater near you, so rental would be the way to go.

Length: 90 minutes

LOBO HOWLS: 8

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