SXSW Film Reviews
Moore manages to encapsulate the entirety of the open source software movement and keep non-techheads awake simultaneously.
By Marc Savlov, Fri., March 16, 2001
Revolution OSD: JTS Moore. (35mm, 90 min.)
It's a testament to Moore's skill as a documentarian that he manages to encapsulate the entirety of the open source software movement and keep non-techheads awake simultaneously. This being Austin, Revolution OS is screening in the right place at the right time, though lower life forms (i.e. non-coders, -phreaks, or -hackerz) such as myself will find that once the basic premise is iterated, the rest of the film is all icing on the dataport. Simply put, the open source movement is a grassroots movement to make software essentially free, or at least able to be shared and traded across the net. Think anti-Microsoft, and you've got the idea. Nefarious software overlord Bill Gates predictably takes a beating throughout; one memorable passage quotes the full (and lengthy) text of a 1976 Gates missive decrying the very idea of "free" software. Read in an increasingly shrill and histrionic tone, the letter is pure Gates screed and banishes any lingering doubts viewers might have regarding the Microsoft head's false piety. Moore also interviews a flotilla of open-source heroes, from Linus Paulson to manifesto-hacker Eric Raymond, who prove once again that not all geeks are out to rule the world and sabotage your privacy. Just the ones in Seattle.