Freeview film of the day Sunday 17 September: Risk

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is put under the microscope by Citizenfour documentarian Laura Poitras

risk

Risk  ★★★★ 
Premiere 10.00-11.25pm BBC2

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Fearless American documentarian Laura Poitras won an Oscar for Citizenfour, her unique scoop on whistleblower Edward Snowden. She follows it up with a portrait of another controversial disseminator of secret information, Julian Assange, the far less telegenic WikiLeaks founder. The resulting film has existed in two versions. In the first assembly, originally shown at Cannes, Assange was treated sympathetically. But then Poitras re-edited her film after getting close to one of Assange’s supporters and discovering unpalatable stories about behaviour within the WikiLeaks organisation. (She reveals in voiceover: “This is not the film I thought I’d be making.”) The finished product is perhaps too personal, but gripping nonetheless if you’re a student of freedom of information. Another absorbing documentary, Letters from Baghdad, premieres tomorrow on BBC4. Andrew Collins


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