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We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists

Quebec Premiere
  • USA
  • 2012
  • 93 mins
  • HD
  • English
Official Selection, Slamdance Film Festival 2012
Official Selection, South by Southwest 2012
Official Selection, Hot Docs 2012

In addition to the opening short film, Frederick Maheux's QC2012 - MANIAC COP REMIX, an additional short, REBOOT, screens after the feature!

"If there’s a single ounce of civil disobedience in your body, this documentary was made for you" — Johnny Logan, SLUG

"Rousing, informative, exciting… its energy is electrifying" — Jason Bailey, FOURTH ROW CENTER

"A fascinating documentary that is scary no matter whom you side with" — Erik Childress, EFILMCRITIC

They are anonymous. Together they form a collective of modern vigilantes that watch over our planet. When freedom is at stake, they are there to defend it. Looking for neither wealth nor fame, they opt instead to hide their identities behind the mask of Guy Fawkes, the association’s icon. They congregate on the Internet, a haven that also serves as a weapon. Through the Web, they have successfully unleashed attacks on the Church of Scientology, the Sony Corporation, and the FBI, as well as the Tunisian, Iranian and Egyptian governments — going from cyber-actions to concrete results. They also protest in flesh and blood as they take control of big-city streets during the Occupy movement. Today, their name rhymes with revolution. When their fists are raised, the world trembles. They are Anonymous. They are Legion. They don’t forgive. They never forget. They are dangerous. But who are they exactly? You’re about to find out.

In an attempt to humanize the image of Anonymous, filmmaker Brian Knappenberger has taken it upon himself to retrace the secret history of the controversial activist group. He went back directly to the source and was able to track down a few founding members of the clandestine operation. The latter subjects held nothing back as they exposed the whole truth behind this community of cyber-pirates. Through a series of fascinating interviews, they recall with contagious nostalgia their beginnings on the 4chan forum in 2006, when the Anonymous project was still in the stages of inconsequential entertainment. Their first vigilante actions demonstrated that their union can actually make a difference. What follows is a highly colorful account filled with crucial entanglements with the law, battles for international equity and lives transformed by a universal cause. The stupefying events detailed by Knappenberger seem directly pulled from a mystery novel, their scope and consequential impact defying all reason. What quickly becomes clear is why society’s leaders consider Anonymous a worthy foe. Breathtaking from the very beginning, WE ARE LEGION: THE STORY OF THE HACKTIVISTS is also the striking portrait of a youth willing to do whatever it takes to reach its ideals. A documentary response to Nicolas Alberny and Jean Mach’s 8TH WONDERLAND, this explosive picture chronicles the evolution of a battle barely begun by a disgruntled generation. Ours.

— Simon Laperrière