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The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

Crime . Biography . Documentary

Programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz achieved groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing. His passion for open access ensnared him in a legal nightmare that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26.

Actors: Cindy Cohn , Lawrence Lessig , Peter Eckersley , Cory Doctorow , Tim Berners-Lee , Aaron Swartz , Gabriella Coleman
Directors: Brian Knappenberger
Country: USA
Release: 2014-06-27
More Info:
  • Richard Roeper

    This is a film that left me marveling at Swartz’s beautiful mind, and shaking my head at the insanity of the system he knew was badly fractured.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • John DeFore

    All but a must-see for anyone who knows enough to care about the way laws govern information transfer in the digital age, Brian Knappenberger's The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz is an inspiring account of the life of, and an infuriating chronology of the persecution of, one of the Internet's most impressive prodigies.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Geoff Berkshire

    The Internet’s Own Boy is a beautifully crafted film that opens a window on a world not everyone has entered yet, and exposes ways in which both the legal system and the U.S. government is lagging hopelessly behind technology.

    Variety Full Review
  • Chris Packham

    Brian Knappenberger's The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz connects the dots of Swartz's past, assembling a vivid portrait of a sensitive genius with a strong moral sense.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Whether Aaron Swartz is a personal hero or someone you've never heard of until now, his story cannot help but touch you.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Jeannette Catsoulis

    Moving and maddening in almost equal measure, Brian Knappenberger’s The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz is a devastating meditation on what can happen when a prescient thinker challenges corporate interests and the power of the state.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Nikola Grozdanovic

    What it lacks in cinematic girth, it makes up for in factual appeal.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Simon Houpt

    Delivers a touching, morally outraged portrait that, in memory of Swartz, may inspire people to ask hard questions about how the new world is being shaped away from view, behind closed doors.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    Aaron Swartz’s story should make you furious. In an era when real criminals of our financial crisis ride limousines to dine with the President, our government overzealously tried to put a man behind bars for decades because he tried to better the world. Full Review
  • Joe McGovern

    Swartz’s ex-girlfriend adds heart when she tearfully recalls first seeing the ”end date” on his Wikipedia page.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Stephanie Merry

    Knappenberger’s documentary is smart and focused, homing in on a recurring theme of independence.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Knappenberger can’t paint his subject as an imperfect human being because Swartz simply means too much to too many people right now. He’s a focal point for social and political change, with communal grief as its engine.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Mike D'Angelo

    While Swartz almost certainly would not have been sentenced to 50 years in prison, a system that tries to scare harmless do-gooders into submission does America no credit. In this case, it succeeded all too horribly well.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Katherine Kilkenny

    Knappenberger has delivered a film brimming with outrage, whose zeal becomes persuasive once Swartz takes on his activist mantle.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Nick Prigge

    The film is far from a technical matter, fiercely promoting Swartz's legacy and challenging us with the same questions its central subject was compelled to ask.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    See the movie, flaws and all, simply to see where you stand in this digital river that runs through all our lives, connecting and isolating us in ways we're barely able to comprehend.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    This one-sided documentary, told entirely by supporters, paints Swartz as a hero pursued by malign forces.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Amber Wilkinson

    The subject is an important one but would benefit from a shorter running time.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    It’s a call to action in the form of an adoring profile, which is effective (and affecting) strategy, but narrow, propagandistic filmmaking.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Keith Uhlich

    This is a movie that preaches to its rafters-raising choir.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Kerry Lengel

    In The Internet's Own Boy, writer-director Brian Knappenberger ("We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists") paints a portrait of Swartz as a martyr for the information age, but ultimately the story falls short of such mythic ambition.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Melancholy, often muddled documentary.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Leslie Felperin

    Essential viewing for anyone interested in what freedom of information means in the digital age, this passionate, fascinating, unapologetically partial but fair documentary celebrates Aaron Swartz.

    The Guardian Full Review
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