A single significant act of civil disobedience, one that may have changed the course of American history in the 20th century, is chronicled in the new documentary film, The Most Dangerous Man in America.
Daniel Ellsberg (seen here a in 1971 news photograph) was arrested and faced serious criminal charges for making public the highly classified “Pentagon Papers.” But the case collapsed in a mistrial, when it was revealed that the Nixon administration had interfered in it, initially by engineering a surreptitious burglary of the office of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist. Looking back on those events now, film-maker Judith Erlich (below) says, it’s entirely plausible to see Ellsberg as the catalyst for Richard Nixon’s downfall.
Having spent considerable time with Ellsberg over the five years it took to make the film, Erlich says she is convinced and appreciative of the sincerity of his motives, both in 1971 and over the years since.
Daniel Ellsberg was interviewed on the North Bay Report in November, 2006, prior to an appearance in Sebastopol. Here is that archival report.
This is the trailer for The Most Dangerous Man in America, currently showing at the Rialto cinemas Lakeside in Santa Rosa.