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

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

Brian Knappenberger / United States / 2014 / 105 ' / English

Credits

Bryan Storkel, Michelle Witten, Jason Decker, Andy Robertson & Brian Knappenberger
Brian Knappenberger
Lincoln Else, Brian Knappenberger & Scott Sinkler
John Dragonetti

Links & Reviews

Awards & Festivals

Winner, Sheffield Youth Jury Award, Sheffield International Documentary Festival, 2014
Nominated, Grand Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival, 2014

Upcoming Screenings

Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!

previously screened

In Production

The life of American computer programmer, writer, political organizer and Internet activist Aaron Swartz.

Synopsis

The Internet's Own Boy depicts the life of American computer programmer, writer, political organizer and Internet activist Aaron Swartz. It features interviews with his family and friends as well as the internet luminaries who worked with him. The film tells his story up to his eventual suicide after a legal battle, and explores the questions of access to information and civil liberties that drove his work.

As a teenager, Aaron Swartz was a computer-programming prodigy with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. After emerging as a pioneer of Internet activism, education, and politics, he was indicted on multiple federal charges in 2011 and 2012, setting off a complex chain of events that left the Internet community reeling. Shortly thereafter, at the age of 26, Swartz was found dead of an apparent suicide in his Brooklyn apartment. His family, friends, and supporters immediately blamed the prosecutors of the case, who aimed to put him in jail for 35 years and brand him a convicted felon for life. Swartz was persecuted for the very rights and freedoms for which he stood, and that ultimately broke him.

Weaving together home video footage and anecdotal interviews from his closest confidants, Brian Knappenberger creates a dynamic portrait of a precocious boy who grew up to lead the Internet community into a new age of data sharing and free speech.

 

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