The The Most Dangerous Man in America , a new documentary co-directed by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, had its debut September 11 at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film, which opens in several theaters around the nation this week, tells the story of Daniel Ellsberg who made his mark in American history in 1971 when he leaked the Pentagon Papers .
The documentary, which Ellsberg narrates, also covers his life as a gung-ho Marine in the mid-sixties, and his conversion to Vietnam War skeptic–and then to antiwar activist–after he went over there and saw first hand what was happening in the field.
“The movie is an act of hero worship, but it inadvertently suggests that, without a necessary touch of grandiosity, Ellsberg might never have acted as bravely as he did, ” The New Yorker film reviewer David Denby noted in his otherwise positive review .
David Edelstein, writing in New York magazine, had nothing but praise for the movie. The film, he said, “offers one revelatory interview after another mixed with reenactments (animated) that have fun with the caper-movie aspect and build real suspense. So many people risked their livelihoods to put the 7, 000-page Pentagon Papers out there—although its most tangible result was the creation of Nixon’s plumbers unit.”