A life cut tragically short by the pressure of being made example of.
The Internet’s Own Boy is a documentary about young internet activist, Aaron Swartz. Swartz was an early internet genius who co-wrote the specifications for the widely used RSS feeds as well as co-founded Reddit.com, one of the most popular websites on the web today. Aaron took a stance against the attempts to shutdown the freedom of the internet including the well-known SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) bill.
The Internet’s Own Boy starts with old home clips of the Swartz family and the people who were closest to Aaron speaking of how smart he was even from a very young age. It then brings you through his adolescent years of being a young teenager in the early stages of the internet, into his college years of struggling to fit in to the Silicon Valley crowd, and speaking out against the government bills looking to decimate the freedom of the internet. Aaron took his own life in January of 2013 when the pressure from the lawsuits he acquired from sharing private information became too great for him to handle.
Deserves an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary. – Richard Roeper
The film does a good job of letting the viewer into the life of Aaron and provides insight into his motivations for committing the crimes he undeniably committed. What is deniable is the extent to which the government held him accountable. Aaron was the target of a harsh criminal system looking to make an example of him for sharing millions of educational documents, documents that were being charged a questionable amount to begin with. This film is designed to help the viewer understand and sympathize with Aaron Swartz and by the end of it you will feel what a tragedy it was to lose such a brilliant mind.
I would have liked to have seen a little bit more of the other side of the story however ludicrous it may have been. Director Brian Knappenberger set out to make a film about Aaron Swartz, the genius who was pressured into suicide by big brother due to their relentless pursuit to put his head on a stake. The reality is that Aaron did commit a crime and it would have satisfied some curiosity to see the point of view of those on the other side of the fence.
Where Can You See It?
The Internet’s Own Boy is available right now on iTunes, Amazon instant video, the Google play store and many others. Click Here for a full list of where to watch this film or follow the button below.