6.3/10
1,760
13 user 69 critic

Risk (2016)

TV-MA | | Documentary | 12 May 2017 (USA)
Trailer
1:28 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

The story of WikiLeak's editor-in-chief Julian Assange as seen by documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras.

Director:

Laura Poitras

Writer:

Laura Poitras (narration)
4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Project X (2016)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A top-secret handbook takes viewers on an undercover journey to TITANPOINTE, the site of a hidden partnership. Narrated by Rami Malek and Michelle Williams, and based on classified NSA ... See full summary »

Directors: Henrik Moltke, Laura Poitras
Stars: Rami Malek, Michelle Williams
The Oath (2010)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Tells the story of two men whose fateful encounter in 1996 set them on a course of events that led them to Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantanamo, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Director: Laura Poitras
Stars: Osama bin Laden, Salim Hamdan, Abu Jandal
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Documentary by Oscar winner Laura Poitras about the war in Iraq.

Director: Laura Poitras
Mediastan (2013)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

On the road with Wikileaks.

Director: Johannes Wahlström
Stars: Julian Assange, Vladimir Gubanov, Sultanbek Joumagulov
Citizenfour (2014)
Documentary | Biography | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A documentarian and a reporter travel to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden.

Director: Laura Poitras
Stars: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, William Binney
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A documentary that details the creation of Julian Assange's controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: Julian Assange, Adrian Lamo, John 'FuzzFace' McMahon
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Julian Assange ... Himself
Sarah Harrison ... Herself
Jacob Appelbaum ... Himself
Joseph Farrell Joseph Farrell ... Himself
Renata Avila ... Herself - Lawyer
Jennifer Robinson ... Herself - Lawyer
Erinn Clark Erinn Clark ... Herself - Tor Project developer
Laura Poitras ... Herself (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ana Alban Ana Alban ... Herself - Ecuadorian ambassador
Christine Assange Christine Assange ... Herself - Julian's mother
Louis Bladel ... Himself - FBI counterintelligence (as Special Agent Louis Bladel)
Hillary Clinton ... Herself (archive footage)
Amal Clooney ... Herself - Lawyer
James Comey ... Himself (archive footage)
Anderson Cooper ... Himself (archive sound)
Edit

Storyline

Filmed over six years, Risk (2016) is a character study that collides with a high stakes election year and its controversial aftermath. Cornered in a tiny building for half a decade, Julian Assange is undeterred even as the legal jeopardy he faces threatens to undermine the organization he leads and fracture the movement he inspired. Capturing this story, director Laura Poitras finds herself caught between the motives and contradictions of Assange and his inner circle. Written by Real Art Ways

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English | Arabic | Spanish | German

Release Date:

12 May 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Asylum See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,327, 5 May 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$197,621, 16 June 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The WikiLeaks lawyers Margaret Ratner Kunstler, Deborah Hrbek, Renata Avila and Melinda Taylor published an 'opinion piece' in Newsweek on May 17, 2017; WikiLeaks announced on the same day on Twitter that they may sue Laura Poitras: "We are lawyers for WikiLeaks. We are speaking out because we believe that Laura Poitras's film Risk (2016), released in U.S. theaters on May 5 this year, places our clients in legal jeopardy. (...) Our first issue with "Risk" is that the film was edited in New York, where the raw footage can more easily be seized by the U.S. government. By moving the editing location from Berlin to the U.S., Poitras has endangered our clients and reneged on written agreements with WikiLeaks that explicitly forbid her from editing the footage in the United States. (...) Poitras has also violated her unambiguous promise to the subjects of the film that they would have an opportunity to review the film in advance and request changes, and that they could decline to appear if they or their lawyers felt that the movie put them at risk. Had the filmmaker not agreed to these express conditions, WikiLeaks' staff would not have allowed themselves to be filmed in the first place. Despite repeated requests, neither the subjects of the film nor their attorneys were granted a prior viewing of the film that Poitras intended to release in the U.S.. When, along with the general public, we were finally able to view "Risk", we were dismayed to discover that the film released in theaters is a different version, not only from that which premiered at Cannes the year before, but also from the version screened for Julian Assange and his UK counsel at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The film viewed in the Embassy just one month prior to its U.S. release was shorn of all narration and omitted numerous new scenes, significantly changing its tenor. That the 'real' film contained these elements was concealed, preventing Assange from exercising his contractual rights. Prior to its initial U.S. release, seven of the participants submitted non-consent forms to the producers advising Poitras and her team that they did not want to appear in the film. Regardless, Poitras went ahead and released it. (...) To convince the audience of her point about the prevalence of sexism, Poitras has marginalized and demeaned a number of women who work for WikiLeaks, choosing instead to give men most of the airtime and leaving scenes depicting the significant contributions of the women WikiLeaks journalists on the cutting room floor. In their place, we now see an intense focus on women taking instructions and throwing off adoring looks. Sarah Harrison, for example, a brilliant journalist and winner of the Willy Brandt prize for "exceptional political courage," who at considerable personal risk helped Edward Snowden obtain political asylum, and who was accurately portrayed as having a central role in WikiLeaks work in the Cannes version, is now depicted as little more than a minion. Exactly what caused this pivot is not entirely clear. (...) The reason for the shift seems to be contained in the newly added voiceover, in which Poitras divulges that she was involved in an intimate relationship with one of the film's primary subjects, award-winning journalist Jacob Appelbaum. Appelbaum appears prominently in Poitras' Citizenfour (2014) as well as in "Risk". Although he does not work for WikiLeaks, Poitras conflates WikiLeaks with the organization he did work for, Tor, and makes him a central focus of the current version of "Risk". The Cannes premiere of "Risk" portrayed Appelbaum in a flattering light and Poitras did not disclose the nature of their relationship at that time. (...) Poitras was criticized after Cannes for appearing to be overly sympathetic to WikiLeaks. Instead of providing us with a more objective portrayal of her subject matter, she has re-framed her story to turn "Risk" into a film by Laura Poitras about Laura Poitras; a rather late coming-of-age story about the filmmaker discovering that there is sexism in her social and professional circles. Instead of a documentary about the abuse of state power and WikiLeaks' important role in exposing it, the emphasis of the film is now to highlight hotly disputed claims about an ex-boyfriend. We have to ask: Why choose this moment in history, when First Amendment and other fundamental rights are under attack, to undermine the credibility of an organization dedicated to government transparency and freedom of the press? (...) "Risk" might win attention for Poitras by pandering to tabloid narratives about its subjects, but it has done a great disservice to her fellow documentarians, and has profoundly betrayed her friends, her colleagues and her journalistic integrity." See more »

Quotes

Julian Assange: The risk of inaction is extremely high.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Breakfast: Episode dated 2 July 2017 (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Disappointing
9 December 2017 | by Gordon-11See all my reviews

This film tells the first hand story of Julian Assange, and his life after launching the leaks website.

It is very interesting to see what goes on around Assange up close, as there is probably very little opportunity to do so. The opening of the film is strong, as the characters try to get in touch with senior government officials. However, the film goes downhill quickly, mostly because there is little narrative to what is shown on the screen. For example, there is a scene where Julian puts a device on the window sill, and I have no idea what is going on. The scene where he gets a haircut, and doing boxing can be enhanced by a narration that he could not leave the embassy. To me, the documentary is so personal to the filmmakers, that they forgot that viewers are not in the middle of it. Viewers can't follow the scenes as they could.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed