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  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

An intimate, questioning portrait of controversial Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

In 2010, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange invited filmmaker Laura Poitras to begin shooting a film about his organisation and himself. Seven years and hours of footage later, the result is a thoughtful, intensely relevant and at times frankly jaw-dropping profile of one man’s battle with world governments, common decency and his own out-of-control ego.

Poitras is a sharp, insightful interviewer, and to his credit Assange is never coy or evasive – for better or worse, he speaks his mind. At first, he genuinely seems like the embattled hero so many of us took him for, speaking truth to power at a time when it really mattered. WikiLeaks’s work in countries like Tunisia, showing how the internet can be a tool of resistance, is still extraordinary. But then the rape allegations hit, Assange starts burbling about a ‘feminist conspiracy’, and pretty soon he’s squatting in an Ecuadorian Embassy back office patronising Lady Gaga to her face.

‘Risk’ may not have the spy-movie intensity (or the sympathetic hero) of Poitras’s Edward Snowden film, ‘CitizenFour’. But as a portrait of power gained and lost, of unchecked self-absorption and what drives people like Assange to do what they do, it’s absolutely fascinating. Watching it feels like history unfolding in close-up.

Written by
Tom Huddleston

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 30 June 2017
  • Duration:92 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Laura Poitras
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