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Risk (2016)

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

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


Laura Poitras


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



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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)


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




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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 »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,327, 7 May 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The version of Risk (2016) presented at the Directors' Fortnight of the Cannes International Film Festival in May 2016 was reportedly generally favorable towards WikiLeaks, its founder Julian Assange and contributor Jacob Appelbaum. However, Julian Assange did not think so, as director Laura Poitras has revealed in interviews about the film. It's now known that right before the Cannes screening, Assange and Poitras had a long phone call. During that call, he was furious about the film and demanded changes, and in particular he was upset over the inclusion of scenes in which he discusses two women's accusations that he committed sexual assault against them. Despite Assange's anger, WikiLeaks staff members Sarah Harrison, WikiLeaks contributor Jacob Appelbaum, WikiLeaks lawyer Renata Avila, and other WikiLeaks associates reportedly attended the film's screening and a post-screening reception in Cannes to celebrate the film. The released version of May 2017 was re-cut. Julian Assange disapproves of the 2017 version as well, and has reportedly stopped speaking to Laura Poitras. See more »


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User Reviews

93 min. of footage from 6 years of filming leaves us wanting more
11 August 2017 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"Risk" (2017 re-release; 93 min.) is a documentary about Julian Assange by critically acclaimed (and Oscar-winning) writer-producer-director Laura Poitras. With basically unfettered access to Assange and his entourage, Poitras initially thought she's be making a documentary that focused heavily on the Wikileaks (and certainly there is some of that), but by an unexpected turn of events (two women in Sweden alleging assault and/or rape by Assange), everything changes... To tell you more of how it plays out would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: the stellar track record of Laura Poitras speaks for itself. She knows how to make a compelling documentary. This movie is a logical follow-up for her Oscar-winning "CitizenFour". That said, it is impossible to discuss "Risk" without providing the full context as to its life. "Risk" originally premiered at the 2016 Canned Film Festival (yes, over a year ago) to much controversy, upon which Poitras withdrew the movie and reworked it, and of course in the meantime events kept happening. After a year's worth of tinkering, the movie was recently re-released on SHO. I haven't see the 2016 version so I cannot really comment how the two versions compare, but I've read the 2016 movie was significantly different (and far less critical of Assange). The movie now concludes with Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey (in May, a mere 3 months ago). Keeping in mind that the movie was filmed over a 6 year period, I wish it'd run longer than just 93 min. Yes, we get all of 93 min. from 6 years of filming. So much is happening in the movie and so fast, it's hard to keep up at times. But it never stops being compelling viewing (check the surprisingly cramped living quarters at the Embassy of Ecuador in London).

Last but certainly not least, I've read some of the so-called "reviews" posted here by Wikileaks fans, trashing "Risk" for the mere fact that they feel it is too critical of Assange. These people are delusional. Not to mention that what they posted is not a movie review but simply putting forth a political position, disregarding any and all artistic merits that the documentary has AS A MOVIE (even with shortcomings and all). I am neither "for" or "against" Assange or Wikileaks. I am a movie buff who loves well-made and compelling documentaries, even if they have shortcomings. "Risk" qualifies on all these points. I encourage you to check it out if you have the chance, and draw your own conclusion.

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