As part of Open Access Week 2014, the Wayne State University Libraries will be hosting a screening of the 2014 documentary, “The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz,” on Friday, October 24 at 11 a.m. in the Kresge Auditorium inside of the Purdy/Kresge Library. Directed by Brian Knappenberger, the film follows the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz.
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.