The Most Dangeous Man In America
- Director:Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith
- Cast:John Dean, Daniel Ellsberg, Patricia Ellsberg, Max Frankel
- Release Date:April 08, 2010
- Distributor:Gil Scrine
- Running time:92 minutes
- Film Worth:$13.00
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Expertly told, this engrossing documentary provides fascinating insight into a pivotal time in US history
While the Watergate scandal has become an infamous chapter in American history, The Most Dangerous Man In America details the equally fascinating, but lesser known events that worked as a precursor to it. This feature documentary, expertly assembled by producer/directors Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, revisits this pivotal point of history, seamlessly integrating stock footage with new interviews of those involved.
The film follows Daniel Ellsberg, a high ranking government worker who became disturbed by the government's ongoing blatant lies to the public, the trivial nature of the war and the human injustice that accompanied it, and subsequently leaked the truth to the press in an act of defiance. It's a surprise that such an incredible story hasn't been told before in cinema, and the film takes full advantage of the story imbuing it with all the suspense of a thriller and raises important moral questions for the audience to consider.
The film's strength lies in its ability to humanise those involved by expertly detailing the events with genuinely shocking and comprehensive video footage, plus interviews and audio of Nixon's verbalised brutal war mentality. Ellsberg, as well as his family and colleagues are shown in personal detail, and the film goes beyond the ‘what happened' and examines why these brave people stood up to the US Government. A real intimacy is established between these people, and for these people.
The Most Dangerous Man In America loses some of its energy towards the end, and the engrossing nature of the documentary is occasionally interrupted with disjointed animated sequences and clunky re-enactments. Despite these minor quibbles, this is a film which echoes powerfully in contemporary society, calling into question the potential ongoing deception by the current US government.