Australia, 2012, 90 minutes, 35mm, Color, official site
In Person: Julian Assange via a live phone interview (guest appearances are subject to change)
Support him or condemn him, there's little doubt Australian-born activist, journalist, and computer expert Julian Assange has become the personification of the central dilemma of our turbulent times: what does the public have a right to know, how is this information procured, and when are governments justified in restricting access to it? Filmfest DC audiences are familiar with the work of Australian writer-producer-director Robert Connolly, whose financial thriller The Bank and political journalism dramaThe Balibo Conspiracy have been well-received in recent programs. Now, once more blending his own political awareness and innate storytelling sense, Connolly has made Underground, a perceptive, responsible, and dramatically authentic thriller about Assange's adolescent passage from curious teenager to young father to morally principled hacker. Dragged across the country by his activist mother (Rachel Griffiths) to elude his cult leader stepfather, 17-year-old Julian (expressive newcomer Alex Williams) begins hacking into private systems with a pair of mates. In 1990, when he discovers unexplained troop movements on a top-secret American military website shortly before the Persian Gulf War commences, it becomes a race against time as a police unit led by a grumpy Luddite (Connolly regular Anthony LaPaglia) close in. Although he has wisely chosen not to take sides pro- or anti-Assange, Connolly has explicitly aimed the film at a young generation in search of a defining cause. "It's good to stand up for what you believe," he told one interviewer at last October's London Film Festival. "You can make a difference." Julian Assange has, and Filmfest DC is proud to present Underground. —Eddie Cockrell
Followed by a party at Bar Louie, $30.00
Thursday April 11 7:00 PM Regal Cinemas Gallery Place $30.00 Buy Tickets
Trailer: See it here.
Please buy your tickets online ahead of time as this will sell out. Lets meet at 6:30 in the lobby downstairs. We will have more time for socializing at the party after the film at Bar Louie downstairs.