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Byron Shire
August 18, 2022

Cinema review – The Fifth Estate

Latest News

Food, drink and craft brewery ’in principle’ approval for Tweed South Industrial Estate

Industrial estate zoning was under question at Tweed Council's planning meeting on 4 August as councillors endorsed the development application (DA) for an ‘artisan food and drink industry including craft brewery, retail area and restaurant at Industry Drive Tweed Heads South. 

Other News

Mullum pods

First, Hans Lovejoy’s article ‘emergency wedged’ was educational, factual and provided valuable information to the community. Michele Grant’s letter...

The solution is absolute transparency

Heilpern's great comparison (20 July) of wars in Ukraine and Iraq, illustrates the USA and all participants commit great...

Olivia Newton-John and FernGully

Olivia Newton-John was active in many environmental issues in the Northern Rivers region. One in particular was the 12-year battle to save ‘Fern Gully’ in Coorabell from being dammed.

Fairy of the week – 17 August, 2022

The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don't be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

More Blacks, More Dogs, More Irish 

Having lived in so-called ‘Australia’ for a decade, Irish born singer-songwriter, Áine Tyrrell, rewrites what is imaginable every step of the...

Undesirable

​​An undeniable purpose in living is enjoyment, due to the fact that we have the capability to enjoy. What...

In 1949, the great English novelist JB Priestley, because of his politics, was blacklisted by George Orwell from contributing to a government organ, a piece of trivia that sprang to mind when WikiLeaks was irreverently referred to as ‘Big Brother’ in this over-long but even-handed account of the Julian Assange soap opera.

If nothing else, the ostracism of Priestley supports the idea that those who would change the world inevitably wish to recreate it in their own image. But keyboard warriors need a hero as much as any low-brow footy tragic and Assange, played here in The Fifth Estate with irksome arrogance and growing paranoia (and an excellent Australian accent) by Benedict Cumberbatch, fits the bill for a certain type of privileged radical.

It begins with Assange and his German associate Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) on the eve of their sensational online exposure of the thousands of secret US military documents forwarded to them by the now jailed whistleblower, Pvt Bradley Manning, then flashes back three years to cover the rollercoaster ride of WikiLeaks’ growing notoriety.

By treating them as though unrelated, director Bill Condon tends to make a dog’s breakfast of the movie’s three significant themes. The relationship between Assange and Domscheit-Berg closely resembles the exploitative one that pulled Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin apart in The Social Network – Brühl, after coping with the overbearing James Hunt in Rush, is a natural for the part, and the more sympathetic of the two men.

The looming shift in media influence, from newspapers and traditional journalism to the internet, is clearly understood by The Guardian’s Alan Rushbridger (Peter Capaldi), who is desperate to form a publishing alliance with what he sees as an information source that might make hard-copy obsolete.

But the most serious issue, of just how much ‘knowledge’ should be freely accessible before others’ lives are put at risk and the cosy freedom with which we lounge in front of our laptops is threatened, is evaded.

That Assange is afforded a preachy coda, speaking to camera, stuck in my craw.

~ John Campbell

 


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Storylines – The Voice of the voiceless

My grandfather would often tell me a story. A story about a community. This community was self-sufficient, self-reliant, and self-determining of their own lives.

Draft COMP caps Public Access at Lismore Council

A Draft Code of Meeting Practice (COMP) and Briefing Policy prepared by the Governance & Customer Service Manager was the subject of discussion at Lismore Council this week.

Olivia Newton-John and FernGully

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