The Most Dangeous Man In America
- Director:Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith
- Cast:John Dean, Daniel Ellsberg, Patricia Ellsberg, Max Frankel
- Release Date:June 24, 2010
- Distributor:Gil Scrine Films
- Running time:92 minutes
- Film Worth:$13.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
This engrossing documentary contains all the suspense of a thriller and provides a fascinating and resonant 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 from 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, as well as the scarring nature of The Vietnam War and the human injustice that accompanied it. In an act of defiance, Ellsberg leaked the truth to the press.
It's a surprise that such an incredible tale 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, while also raising a swathe of important moral questions.
The film's major 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 President 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" approach and examines why these brave people stood up to the US government. A real intimacy is established between these people, which gives the film a much needed emotional kick.
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 resonates powerfully in contemporary society, calling into question the potential for ongoing deception by the current US government.