2014, 105 minutes, color, U.S.A.
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.
Director: Brian Knappenberger
Screenwriter: Brian Knappenberger
Executive Producer: Brian Knappenberger
Composer: John Dragonetti
Associate Producers: Denise Gaberman, Jeffrey Kanjanapangka, Suzanne Danziger, Kate Coe
Editors: Bryan Storkel, Michelle Witten, Jason Decker, Andy Robertson, Brian Knappenberger