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WikiLeaks combats 'The Fifth Estate' UK opening with 'Mediastan' documentary

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Julian Assange flickr espenmoe cc
Julian Assange flickr espenmoe cc

WikiLeaks has been vocal about its distaste for The Fifth Estate's dramatization of its founder and service, and it's now challenging the film with a film of its own, which anyone in the UK can watch for free. For the rest of this week, Mediastan — a behind-the-scenes documentary on how WikiLeaks handled the reception of state secrets during 2011 — will be streaming on YouTube for those in the UK, where The Fifth Estate opened this weekend. Everyone else will be able to rent the picture for around $2-3 on services like Vimeo and Dailymotion.

Mediastan is described as a "geopolitical road movie," and finds journalists driving around on WikiLeaks' behalf, trying to find local news outlets to publish leaked secrets. "This is journalism in extremis. This is how it is done," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says in a statement. "This weekend, instead of wasting your time and money on Hollywood propaganda, why not get all your friends around and spend your time watching Mediastan instead?" While Assange is happy to offer up his own propaganda in replacement, he could probably stop drawing attention to The Fifth Estate and let the film's poor reviews do all the work instead.