TPB AFK – My Review

Tomorrow is the premiere of TPB AFK in Berlin at the Berlinale. I’m not going there (not my kind of scene) but lots of friends are.

I’ve seen the movie a couple of times. Lots of people are asking me for my opinion about it, and I’ve been kind of reluctant. The reason is that I’ve got a split view on it. On the one hand, the movie is great in terms of photography, editing, sound. The experience the viewer gets of the movie is kind of like a thriller. But on the other hand, it’s not my view of the things that actually happened during this period.

The film maker, Simon, who I consider a good friend, and I have different views of what the movie should be. It’s his film though so he makes all the shots. There are lots of scenes in the movie that are… well… edited to be something different than they are. This is all part of making a movie, drama is needed. I’m not happy with all of them, and I don’t like the dark and gloomy view that Simon has of the past years. The editor (whom I’ve never met, so he has no real idea of who I am, just what has been filmed of me) has cut the movie in a way that is very different from what I’ve experienced.

During the past years most of the things we’ve done has been fun. Even the court case(s) has to some extent been filled with humour and playfulness. Today I read some peoples reviews of the movie where one had the view that we went from being confident to being depressed and that we felt that noone cared. There’s no single truth to that. Working with TPB was always filled with enormous support and friendship. Even today, when I go to a place and someone recognises me, they are always happy and tell me stories of how TPB changed their lives to the better.

There are some scenes in the movie that I don’t like at all. One is a scene where I’m seriously sick with the flu, sweating like a pig, but the editing made it look like I’m nervous rather than physically sick. Another is a scene where Fredrik is joking about noone caring about us anymore because the new verdict is not on the frontpage of BBC and CNN. The scene is cut in a way that, combined with the tone of the rest of the movie, it feels like Fredrik really means that. If you know Fredrik you know it’s his way of joking – more actually feeling proud of how much people actually cared. A few minutes later, the verdict was actually on BBCs frontpage, which we were expecting. It’s just how big TPB is and how much people care about it.

I also don’t like what the movie focuses on. It’s focused on the trials, which for me is a really small part of everything. I know that Simon has huuuuuge amounts of film that I’d prefer to have in the movie instead – more focused on happy people, lots of support from people all over the world. But I understand that because of the enormous amount of footage, most has to be cut. And there has to be some focus. Simon and his editor chose the things that I personally would have cut out. It’s not really TPB AFK, it’s TPB – The boring trials.

It’s not that I’m super interesting. Fredrik and Gottfrid are the real stars. I’m way to politically correct (and I’m happy to be just that, I actually care about things and people) to be interesting. More scenes with them and more scenes that has nothing to do with trials and depressing stuff would be more honest (in my view) than the current movie.

Don’t get me wrong. The movie is good. I love the filming, I love some of the scenes in it, for instance when Fredrik says his honest view about me – and I do about him. We’re friends and support eachother, despite not agreeing on a lot of things. I’ve even been on vacations with him all over the world, fighting daily like an old couple. That’s kind of the true story for me, that I would have liked to see more of, if I was one of the viewers.

Of course a lot of people will be interested in the trial part of the thing. But for me, that’s the thing that most people already knew about. And I also do understand that this movie will be “the truth” in what people think about us in the end. And I don’t agree with the view of myself at all in the movie. That is something that is very personal to me, where I feel that either Simon doesn’t know me, or his art goes before portraying me in a way that I recognize. The same probably goes for Fredrik.

I would also like to address some of the recent “discoveries” by the media. A lot of newspapers has reported that they now know that “the founders is exposed in still running the site, even though they’ve said not to do so.” In some scenes, Fredrik is obviously working on some machines that he claims to be TPB. In another scene I explain how I came up with the smart move that TPB should be hosted by The Pirate Party. For me it’s kind of weird saying that I “still” run TPB just because I know the people that do so, and come with a suggestion. I do not control TPB nor The Pirate Party so how could I have made that happen? And Gottfrid really stopped working with TPB ages ago, and nothing in the movie suggests otherwise. The media really has no nuance in their claims. Or as it’s said in sweden, “de drar alla över en kam”.

As you can understand from my post, I have mixed feelings about the movie and the release of it. I still understand that it’s an important piece. If I wanted a movie that I directed, I would have had to make it myself. There’s just this feeling I have sometimes, that my friend Simon has a view of me and my friends that doesn’t fit reality. Is it art or did he misunderstand me? I want my friends to know who I am.


#1 Albert on 02.10.13 at 00:05

Just finished watching a film and found your blog after at once. It’s huge how the internet can work with space. I’m living in Yakutks, its far far far away from Sweden, and at all events I watched the film with full of concentration on my mind. Thanks for shared experience and do your best !!

#2 Fie on 02.10.13 at 03:22

Såg precis dokumentären och tyckte den var extremt välgjord. Givetvis blir det ju så med alla dokumentärer att det alltid är något som borde ha varit med eller skulle kunna förbättras. Dock måste jag säga att från att stödja TPB-grundarna med 120% så gjorde dokumentären om vad som hände att mitt stöd gick ner till ungefär 50%, tyvärr. Tydligen hade jag mindre koll än jag trodde. Dock måste jag berömma din förmåga som talesperson för TBP. DU gjorde ett exemplariskt jobb.

#3 Dobby on 02.10.13 at 03:33

The movie makes me think about the life we live, and the choices we make.
Some scenes really stings, and some show the sparkle in the eye (what would we do without hope, huh…).
And it really shows how you handle your distance toward the struggle, even if it be a cynical suite-man who almost seem like he wants u all dead or the events you have to find yourself in and Go along with your values and beliefs, And somehow make them carry you through this “journey”, feelings involved or not.
This movie, to me (and I’m far from alone) stand as a symbol of a world that is set up in a way where there will always be a victim, and also who gains profit from that…
And makes me wonder how the world would look without victims.. what would it take?
What would be enough?
bottom line;
Is this all we can Muster?
Here’s where I say; Wake Up! 😉

#4 blaeks biofor on 02.10.13 at 03:57

It would be cool to open the source vids (combine with other vids, out there) of this movie, then “tpbers” would direct the “swarm version” 😀

#5 The Pirate Bay – Away From Keyboard — on 02.10.13 at 06:00

[…] Prozesse gegen die TPB-Gründer. Bevor ihr euch den Film anseht (englische Untertitel), lest die Sicht von Peter Sunde dazu. Er beklagt den zu dunklen Grundton des Films und betont demgegenüber Spaß, Freundschaft und […]

#6 Hjalmar on 02.10.13 at 09:02

Vill att du ska veta att för mig – och kanske min generation (snart 50 år) – lämnar mig filmen med en beslutsamhet att förändra vårt samhälle. Den behövdes för att slutligen skingra den “å-ena-sidan-å-andra-sidan”-bilden som jag lämnades med som medelålders DN-prenumerant. Jag tror det krävdes detta fokus på rättegången i filmen för att leda mig till slutsatsen att det ni gjorde var RÄTT. INTE delvis fel också! Hoppas det kan uppväga de andra brister som du beskriver.

#7 Hezza on 02.10.13 at 09:03

“I want my friends to know who I am.”
I want to know who you are, too.

Very moved. You’re a man with incredible strength and spirit in a world full of pussies… can I say that? You’re very inspirational and full of love.
Never give up! 🙂

#8 steelneck on 02.10.13 at 14:20

I do not know you, tiamo or anakata, but somehow my impression of film is close to what you are expressing here. The film-maker is trying to say something very subtle between the lines, consciously or not, i do not exactly what. It may be me, since i was under the impression, on beforehand, that tha film was to be much more about the corrupt politically rigged sorry excuse pretending to be a trial. Not much of that got through. The AFK part of the title should have given me a hint otherwise, but seen as that it did not show much about that either, rather portaying you three in a quite negativ way, expecially anakata and tiamo.

#9 1052 on 02.10.13 at 14:55

I would love (and pay entrance in a cinema) to watch a documentary not limited to the TPB, or the trial, but about the pirate movement, copyright reform, the origins, Piratbyran, its connection with FOSS, CC, OpenData, etc. You said you did many interviews during that period (RMS, Domscheit-Berg). It would be interesting to collect them in one place.

#10 NoDecafPlz on 02.10.13 at 15:09

Bravo, Peter! Bravo!

#11 Santi on 02.10.13 at 16:42

It’s great to read your opinion without filters. Thank you for so many things that tpb give to us, and how it’s helping to redefine everything (that it’s necessary)
greetings from Spain

#12 marcus cunnilingus on 02.10.13 at 17:46

>>#24 frebro
>>#34 Adrian
put it straight to the point.

yo peter, keep up the good work.
brofist from germany.

#13 Ane on 02.10.13 at 21:44

Måste tacka er. Dig, Fredrik och Gottfrid.
The Pirat Bay fanns i mitt liv i en period när jag var som allra fattigast. Jag hade ingen möjlighet att köpa varken musik eller film. Dessutom hittade jag ständigt ny musik, som jag nu för tiden kan köpa. Allt detta betydde massor för mig just då. Jag är oerhört tacksam

#14 Imad on 02.10.13 at 22:41

C’est un peu normal que tu ne sois pas d’accord avec certain contenu, si on veut faire un film qui montre vraiment ce qu’on est (enfin notre véritable vision de la chose) je crois qu’il faut le faire sois même, personnellement je me doutais un peu qu’il y avait des parties “cachées” et que tout n’est pas 100% occurate, mais ça reste vraiment assez fun, j’ai vraiment apprécié TPB AFK et je trouve que c’est du beau boulôt, je te souhaite bon courage Peter, et je m’excuse de m’être exprimé en Français, mon Anglais est un peu mort ces temps ci lol ^^

#15 The Pirate Bay – Away from Keyboard « Netzfilmblog on 02.10.13 at 23:10

[…] alle Beteiligten unterstützen diesen von Klose gewählten Ansatz. In seinem Blog schrieb Peter Sunde kurz vor der Veröffentlichung, dass einige Szenen des Films unglücklich […]

#16 » AFK – film o twórcach The Pirate Bay -- -- on 02.10.13 at 23:18

[…] obejrzeniu filmu warto zapoznać się z opinią jednego z bohaterów — jak widać nie wszystkie sceny mu się […]

#17 The Pirate Bay – Away From Keyboard : le documentaire est en ligne - Geeks and Com' on 02.11.13 at 05:08

[…] noter que Peter «brokep» Sunde a écrit une critique du documentaire TPB AFK sur son blog. À lire pour connaître le point de vue d’un des créateurs de The Pirate Bay. Il revient […]

#18 Mikael on 02.11.13 at 08:24

TPB har förändrat mitt vy om media, rättsystem och frihet. Tack!!

#19 Max on 02.11.13 at 08:49

I’ll keep your comments in mind and mention them whenever the movie or TPB is a talked about. Your view of this interesting and important!

#20 Ed on 02.11.13 at 09:18

Jag tror att du överreagerar. Jag tolkade det om BBC och CNN precis som du säger att det var. Han skämtade om att det inte låg uppe där, varken mer eller mindre.

Sen får du inte heller glömma att han avslutar filmen med två scener där du är ute och träffar folk och har skoj. Ja, han har klämt in lite drama i mitten men slutet är skoj (för din del, Fredrik framstår som en ganska trasig människa och en vän till Gottfrid säger typ att han är förstörd av droger).

Det stora problemet med filmen är att den är lite oseriös i porträtterandet av den andra sidan. Att kalla Monique för “Hollywoods advokat” låter inte seriöst exempelvis. De som inte redan är på er sida kommer mest bara att bli fast i det de tror av en här filmen.

#21 Rubber on 02.11.13 at 09:28

Hei Peter!
Jeg ser du er litt kritisk til filmen og selv skulle jeg også ønske at vi kunne sett litt mere i livene til skaperne av TPB.
Skulle også ønske vi kunne sett litt mere av Gottfrid og blitt litt mere “kjent” med dere. Har Gottfrid selv sett filmen? Isåfall hva syns han selv om sine siste scener fra politiet i cambodia? Jeg ble selv sjokkert over å se hvilken fatning han var i og ønsker han alt det beste og håper han snart er på bedringens vei.
Håper at det kommer no behind the scenes der vi kanskje kan få litt mere innblikk i livene deres og mindre av rettsaken.

#22 Notizen zur Berlinale 2013 ALLES | Principien on 02.11.13 at 21:44

[…] TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay — Away from Keyboard (Simon Klose, S 2013) Bedenkt man den symptomalen Wert, den der Prozess gegen die Pirate Bay hatte (insofern er ein neues Kapitel in der Geschichte „das Kapital schreibt sich seine Gesetze und interpretiert sie wie es ihm passt“ aufschlug), bleibt der Film deutlich unter seinen Möglichkeiten. Selber gucken: hier; Peter Sundes Meinung dazu: da. […]

#23 Kate on 02.11.13 at 23:09

warning: i’m going fan girl mode on you in the next sentences… you are so cute,smart,funny,sympathetic and i want to have your babies.

#24 NSFW063 Pontifex Interruptus | Not Safe For Work on 02.12.13 at 08:26

[…] Away From Keyboard;Holgi: „Contentindustrie wollte ein Exempel statuieren“;Peter Sunde;Twitter;his TPB AFK Review;Der Schweden-Schrei ist ein Studentengag;Pressekammer des Landgerichts Hamburg;Ronald „Richter […]

#25 Ahmed Khan on 02.12.13 at 08:39

The movie is simply a window into your lives – a view if you may. The view isn’t your life entirely. Any sensible person will understand that. In any case, I believe in what you are fighting for.

Salaam from Pakistan.

#26 Thomas on 02.12.13 at 10:02


I watched the movie yesterday and it has its ups and downs, like any movie. The best part though, which I liked the most and which made me laugh is the scene were you and Fredrik describes eachother, and gives the camera your honest opinion. I’m happy to see that’s also a scene you liked. I agree that it’s a bit too much court material in the movie, but that might be because I listened to it all shortly after it took place, because I wrote an essay on the subject in the fall of 2009. Anyway, great movie, great screenplay and alot of fun scenes. Good to see thepiratebay back in the spotlight again, even if it’s only for a short amount of time.

All the best

#27 jyzky on 02.12.13 at 10:29

i could see what u mean how the film is too focused on the trial, and not moore of the 3 genious behind tpb. as u say i too hoped it to be moore focused on getting to know u guys moore privately. but i must say that it seem kind of we got to know u peter a bit moore than u 2 friends. or maybe its just because of your nice personality … ? anyway..take care, peter. say hi to u 2 friends.
lets hope for a tpb afk 2, instead 😉

#28 Anton on 02.12.13 at 12:48

Hejsan Peter! Jag tycker filmen var bra, att han skämtade om att filmen ej var uppe på BBC eller CNN uppfattade iaf jag som skoj.

Det jag förväntade mig i slut-texten var att det skulle stå vad ni sysslar med idag.

T.ex Gottfrid är i Sverige igen, bla bla, aa du förstår.

#29 OliverUv on 02.12.13 at 15:00

Hey! I bet there’s materials enough for a second documentary, one showing the good times. Hope Simon and his crew have the motivation and get enough money to edit and release (well, that’s a cheap part nowadays : ) a TPB – LOL documentary.

Also: If TPB had flattr support, people could use that to fund Simon & co.