Sunday, May 3, 2015 - 5:45pm
Alex Winter |
This film will be followed by a Justice Forum discussion.
The story of Ross William Ulbricht, a 30-year-old entrepreneur who was accused of being the creator and operator of the online black market, Silk Road, forms the heart of director Alex Winter’s revelatory new film. But the story goes much deeper than just this one case, into the heart of what is termed the dark net, an online, anonymous community, outside of government control and surveillance.
Winter’s first film Downloaded, which explored the rise and fall of Napster, finds a curious echo in the story of Silk Road, and more particularly in the government crackdown on Bitcoin and the crypto-anarchist community. While Napster allowed people to trade and share music, trade on the Silk Road is much more troubling. Cody Wilson, the infamous creator of the 3-D printed gun indicates the scope of the issues at stake, stating: “We see this as part of the total sublimation of the state.” Interviews with Julian Assange, Wired writer Andy Greenberg (This Machine Kills Secrets), Cody Wilson, and Andrew Lewman, the Executive Director of Tor, help explain the intricate twists and turns of the story. But it is Edward Snowden, himself no stranger to government surveillance, who states that the case of Ross Ulbricht is one that must be paid close attention to, as it will set legal precedent. The human heart of the story is that of Ross’s parents, who come face-to-face with government forces that are capable of stripping people of their fundamental rights, suspending the judicial system, and suppressing freedom on a troubling new level. -DW
Lifelong actor, producer and director, Alex Winter started as a child actor on Broadway and came to prominence in the wildly popular Bill and Ted franchise. Winter has directed two narrative features: cult classic Freaked for 20th Century Fox and Fever, which screened at Cannes. His TV credits range from MTV’s The Idiot Box to Emmy-nominated work for Cartoon Network, two Ben 10 films, as well as numerous music videos.
Winter’s VH1 rock Doc Downloaded world-premiered at SXSW. The documentary featuring Napster’s Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning has earned nationwide critical acclaim at theatrical and festival screenings, including “Fascinating”—The New York Times; “Incisive”—Entertainment Weekly; and "So relevant to today’s tech industry it’s unnerving"—WIRED. The film is available to stream on Netflix and AOL and made its VH1 debut in 2014.
JUSTICE FORUM PANELIST:
Cameron Gray is a decentralization advocate who sees a bright future for the potential of bitcoin and blockchain technology. He is the co-founder of Decentral Vancouver, a community incubator in Vancouver, Canada designed to create culture, community and commerce around this new and exciting industry. Cameron is also co-developer of the Decentral Network DAO, a global network of physical community incubator "nodes" designed to create decentralization awareness & culture.
|Kiko Marrs is an early bitcoin adopter, day trader and programmer. He is a free software advocate and strives to be a go-to reference on the rapid evolution of open-source platforms into financial tools. Formerly a designer for an architecture firm in the UK, he became engrossed in economics during the 2008 sub-prime crisis, leaving architecture to trade the markets full-time. Discovering bitcoin in 2011, he has had a front row seat to its evolution; inadvertently becoming the closest thing to a bitcoin historian that exists.|