A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz takes the position that information for learning should be made public for all. Viewers are encouraged to find the issues that they're passionate about and fight for them.
Positive Role Models
Aaron Swartz was a bright and talented man whose love of learning began at a very young age. He was constantly striving to fix the world and make it a better place. Aaron wanted to make information on the Internet accessible to everyone and fought against legislation like SOPA.
Violence & Scariness
A few images of violence between cops and protestors. Aaron's family talks about Aaron's arrest and how he was beaten by the cops and put in solitary confinement.
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A couple of uses of "s--t," "f--k," "hell," and "oh my God."
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Products & Purchases
Plenty of well-known companies are referenced in the documentary, including Reddit, JSTOR, Google, Wikipedia, Conde Nast, Apple, Flickr, and the New York Times, to name a few -- though it's not in a promotional way. The movie emphasizes the fact that corporate greed prevents information on the Internet from being accessible to everyone.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz is a documentary that highlights the life and work of Internet influencer Aaron Swartz, while also questioning how much control we have over the Internet and the ways that greed affects the amount of information that people can access. The movie includes interviews with Aaron's family and colleagues, as well as clips from Aaron's own interviews with various news outlets. Internet concepts like RSS and Creative Commons (which Aaron helped develop), as well as legislation like SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), PIPA (Protect IP Act), and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act are explained as simply as possible. Expect some strong language ("f--k," "s--t," etc.) and a few images of clashes between protestors and the police, as well as Aaron's family talking about details of his arrest and time in solitary confinement. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With The Internet's Own Boy, director Brian Knappenberger has crafted an inspiring documentary that does more than portray Swartz as an information hacktivist. Instead, viewers get to know him as a smart, driven man who dedicated his life to bringing public access to the public domain. The home videos of Swartz as a young boy highlight his love of learning, and the interviews with colleagues like Tim Berners-Lee show just how important and respected Swartz was across online communities.
Although the film often moves at a fast pace and the Internet terms and political lingo may be confusing for younger viewers, Knappenberger's decision to end on a hopeful note after tastefully acknowledging Swartz's death, proves just how influential Swartz's work is and will continue to be as long as people keep fighting for the right to access all the knowledge the Internet has to offer.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.