Family of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange visits Cape in effort to free him
Julian Assange's father, John Shipton, and brother, Gabriel Shipton, will visit Cape Cinema Tuesday to screen "Ithaka," the 2021 Australian documentary detailing the family's effort to free the journalist and WikiLeaks founder.
"This is a one-time chance to have this discussion with the direct family of a world political figure. To some, he's a freedom fighter, to others a terrorist," said Josh Mason, Cape Cinema's executive director and moderator for Tuesday's post-film discussion.
Tickets for the 7 p.m. showing are $25 with $10 of each ticket being donated to the nonprofit Cape Cinema. Tickets are available at capecinema.org or at the box office at 35 Hope Lane, Dennis Port.
The Cape stop is one of 43 across the country as the Shipton family and Assange's wife Stella Moris, who married Assange last year, introduce the Australian documentary to the U.S.
Assange, 51, was a household name during the first decade of the 2000s, generating controversy and debate around the world for his hacking and distribution of government classified documents. The Queensland editor and hacker founded WikiLeaks in 2006 as what he described as a publication for whistleblowers.
In 2010, WikiLeaks published more than 450,000 documents, received via then-U.S. intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, concerning day-to-day operations of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Manning was sentenced to 35 years in maximum security at Fort Leavenworth for her role but was freed after seven years by then-President Barack Obama.)
After the U.S. filed an international arrest warrant, listing charges that could land Assange in prison for 175 years, the WikiLeaks founder bounced around the world looking for asylum. His affiliation with Moscow raised questions about whether Assange and Russian hackers had a hand in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which saw Donald Trump beat Former First Lady and U.S Sen. Hillary Clinton.
Assange finally ended up imprisoned at Belmarsh in southeast London, where he remains while continuing to fight extradition to the United States. In 2017, Sweden dropped a rape investigation against Assange, who said at the time he feared Sweden would extradite him to the U.S.
The movie "Ithaka," named for the Greek word conveying the meaning of life, chronicles the efforts of Assange's family to have him freed. Although billed as a story of family, not politics, Shipton does say in one clip that imprisoning his son is a loss for journalists everywhere.
Mason said he expects the film followed by the Q&A will appeal to a wide audience, including younger people.
"Some young people are really fascinated by him and by the whole cyberpunk movement," Mason said.
Contact Gwenn Friss at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @DailyRecipeCCT
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This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Family's effort to free WikiLeaks founder Assange subject of 'Itaka'