The Oscar-nominated documentary 'The Most Dangerous Man in America' reexamines the events that led Daniel Ellsberg to speak out — a decision that would ultimately lead to our withdrawal from Vietnam after the resignation of then-President Richard Nixon and affirm the media's vital role as governmental watchdogs. CityBeat recently connected with co-director Rick Goldsmith to discuss a film whose various issues still resonate today.
This Oscar-nominated documentary looks at the events that compelled Daniel Ellsberg, a former Marine and defense department staffer, to leak the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times in an effort to stop what he deemed an unjust Vietnam War. Ellsberg's articulate first-person narration and unique personal history give the film an intimacy and emotional depth lacking in most political/historical documentaries. Grade: A-.
It was a time when politics were upside down, when elites were rarely mentioned and a backlash had already occurred when Richard Nixon was elected president in 1968. It was a time when college campuses were battlegrounds, when the angriest voices were found there and on urban streets and had faces and names.
Tricky Dick did it again. I went to see the touring production of 'Frost/Nixon' with high expectations. The play won praise in London and New York, and the current film based on Peter Morgan's play has been a hit. But no more than a half hour into the 100-minute performance I felt like I'd been handed one more "gotcha" by a president who bamboozled Americans.