15 October 2013 | drcce2001
Excellent documentary about pressures on media publishers
The first thing that struck me about this documentary was how beautifully it was filmed. The stunning snow-capped mountain scenery of Central Asia in the opening shots got me hooked immediately. This is a road film that travels through some of the most remote and rugged territory in the world that is rarely seen by people in the West. It is where the old Silk Road used to run between Europe and China that is now a geopolitical battleground between East and West.
An intrepid team of Wikileaks supporters tours the capital cities of the "Stans", the Muslim states of former Soviet Central Asia, looking for local media organisations to partner with and to publish Cablegate files relevant to their countries. The interviews with local editors and journalists provide some sobering insights into the pressures on them from both local state authorities and their corporate owners. The negotiations with editors also shed light on the Wikileaks' approach to disclosures and the need to protect vulnerable people via redactions.
The team--including Swedish director Johannes Wahlstrom--enters a Swedish military base in northern Afghanistan and films a memorable encounter with the person in charge of development aid about the reality of her role in this military intervention.
The film ends up back in the West interviewing editors in the UK and US about the pressures they also face--hammering home the fact that it is not just publishers in dictatorships that face problems.