Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:56 pm 
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AARON SWARTZ, WHO DIED AT 26, IN THE INTERNET'S OWN BOY

A brilliant young idealist crushed by the system he tried to liberate

Okay, The Internet's Own Boy: the Story of Aaron Swartz, Brian Knappenberger's documentary about the computer programming genius and free information activist who committed suicide in January 2013 at the age of 26, is hagiography -- like The United States of Amnesia, the Gore Vidal documentary I recently saw. But both these men, the one who died very young and the one who lived to a great age, are important people who deserve memorials. So here, the makers of the Aaron Swartz film tell us about him. Early on, he rejected school, and he became a dissident from there. Aaron was a great learner. He didn't quite fit in. How could he? He was sweet and charming, but he was also a little strange, and not always at ease with people, or where he was, or with himself. But when you learn that Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the World Wide Web, is one of Aaron's great champions, you realize his accomplishments and dreams may be worth knowing about. Hence the value of this documentary, hagiography or not.

Aaron Swartz: The Internet's Own Boy, 107 mins., debuted at Sundance January 2014. It releases in US theaters 27 June 2014. My review will appear closer to that date.

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┬ęChris Knipp. Blog: http://chrisknipp.blogspot.com/.


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