Feature

We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists

Inside the hacker organization Anonymous

Directed by Brian Knappenberger(Not rated)

***

Former Frontline producer Brian Knappenberger has created a “fascinating, incisive social history” of the online activist network known as Anonymous, said Michelle Orange in The Village Voice. The group’s origins are messy: Its members honed their disruptive talents by posting incendiary online comments and hacking online games before news events inspired “a strange and amorphous moral awakening.” As these geeks quickly graduate from trying to embarrass the Church of Scientology to aiding the Arab Spring protests, Knappenberger makes their evolution “engrossing and essential to watch.” But the film’s “bursts of cogent analysis become less frequent” as the group’s greatest hits pile up, said Nicolas Rapold in TheNew York Times. A less “boosterish” tone might have strengthened the case we’re given for the network’s cyberattacks on, say, Sarah Palin or MasterCard. Still, We Are Legion sheds light on one of the mightiest, most misunderstood phenomenons of the cyber age, said Robert Abele in the Los Angeles Times. Even if you see them as dangerous pranksters, they’re “undeniably game-changers.”

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