Fall Movie Lineup: What Is The Fifth Estate?


The Toronto International Film Festival kicked off last Thursday night. This event is seen throughout Hollywood as the official start to “good movie season”. Throughout the ten-day event, many highly anticipated films hosted their premieres to critics, fans, and studio executives. With all of the excitement surrounding the event, many are surprised that the WikiLeaks film The Fifth Estate has been all the talk around Toronto.

THE FIFTH ESTATEOpening the Toronto International Film Festival, The Fifth Estate is a journalism drama is based on Julian Assange’s truth-telling tech-movement that has claimed a database of more than 1.2 million secret, classified media documents.

Benedict Cumberbatch was praised for his incarnation of the well-known cyber-guru and the film received a standing ovation at the premiere. Daniel Bruhl who portrayed a Nazi sniper in Inglourious Basterds, was also given high marks for his restrained and subtle performance as the movie’s conscious, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Assange’s right hand man and the author of one of the books that inspired the movie.

For those of us who weren’t able to attend the Toronto International Film Festival premiere, DreamWorks provided a new featurette of the movie to tie fans over until the October 18th release date.

Showcasing how Wikileaks started strong, taking down a billion dollar bank and their public fall as they gain information on the United States holdings in the Afghanistan war, release over 40,000 documents called the “Iraq War Logs” and almost 800 secret files relating to prisoners detained in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, the thriller drama has already being mentioned as an Oscar contender.

THE FIFTH ESTATEFor those unfamiliar with the term, fifth estate gained its name from Montesquieu’s concept of “three estates of the realm” representing the executive, legislative and judicial branch. The fourth estate model included the media, while the fifth estate encompasses weblogs that have potential and real influence on contemporary policymaking.

Only a few weblogs can consider themselves apart of the fifth estate, but Wikileaks is certainly one of them. Individuals who have followed Wikileaks, including their most recent assistance with Edward Snowden who leaked PRISM, to those who don’t know much about the organization should find something suspenseful to enjoy throughout the film. Already drawing comparisons to All The President’s Men in 1976 with a direction reminiscent of The Parallax View and Klute the political film is sure to keep the issue of government transparency on the front burner for quite some time, especially since the events continue to be central.

What films are you excited to see in theaters this Fall?

Photos used with permission from DreamWorks.

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