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Risk

  • Documentary and factual
  • 2016
  • Laura Poitras
  • 91 mins
  • 15

Summary

Documentary. Oscar-winning director Laura Poitras puts WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the spotlight during his sojourn in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London following allegations of sexual misconduct that he fears would lead to extradition to the United States. Poitras is intrigued by her controversial subject but over the course of six years, and following the fallout from the 2016 US Presidential Election, she begins to have misgivings about her initial assumptions.

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

In this follow-up to Citizenfour, her Oscar-winning portrait of Edward Snowden, documentary-maker Laura Poitras traces the recent history of whistle-blowing web outlet WikiLeaks and its controversial figurehead, Julian Assange. After a Cannes premiere in 2016, Poitras subsequently re-edited her footage, and the revised release version underlines her growing misgivings that an organisation promoting online freedoms should be centred around such an opaque, unreadable individual. Having granted Poitras privileged access by allowing her to venture inside his refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London while sexual misconduct allegations in Sweden were pending, the WikiLeaks founder may not be best pleased with this less-than-favourable recut. But for viewers, it's the film's struggle to square Assange's laudable ideals with his flawed personality, which makes it so compelling. In broader terms, the documentary's six-year time span also marks the trajectory of uncertainty from the optimism of the Arab Spring and Obama's first term to the unpredictable anxieties of a world defined by fundamentalist terror, cyber warfare and the Trump presidency. An uneasy film for our uneasy times.

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Julian AssangeJulian Assange

Crew

rolename
DirectorLaura Poitras

Details

Theatrical distributor
Dogwoof
Released on
2017-06-30
Languages
English | Arabic | German | Spanish
Guidance
Swearing
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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