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Risk (2016)

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

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

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Julian Assange: Every day you live your life, you lose another day. You don't have that many. So if you're not fighting for things you care about, then... you are losing.
See more »

Connections

Features Collateral Murder (2010) See more »

User Reviews

 
The Risk May Be Worth It For Some
11 June 2017 | by SteveMierzejewskiSee all my reviews

The reviews for this documentary are all over the place. Reviewers who are firm advocates of WikiLeaks tend to over-exaggerate the film's virtues, while those who find the organization's actions reprehensible tend to hate it. I watched the film as an objective reviewer.

Some have called the film a sleeper and there are parts of the film that live up to that branding. These occur mainly at the beginning of the film when scenes shift quickly and conversations are somewhat baffling and vapid.

Assange emerges as an emotionally remote character who hides his true personality behind his dedication to WikiLeaks. He even states that what he does is more important than who he is. The only scene in which we get a glimpse into his repressed character is when he is interviewed by Lady Gaga, dressed in her Wicked-Witch-of-the West costume. Ms. Gaga, like most celebrities, tries to hide her insecurity behind false bravado and seemingly unfiltered, carefree questions which tell us more about her than Assange. In a clear case of projection, she asks about his relationship to his parents, wherein Assange claimed his father was "abstract".

We do get some glimpses into the life Assange lives within the Ecuadorean Embassy. We learn about his relationships with his team and find out a few ways that the organization keeps itself protected from government intrusion. This may hold some interest for some viewers.

The latter half of the film is more interesting, especially when he talks about the DNC hacking. I only wish this were expanded more as it is more timely. It is at this point in the film that Assange talks about the earth as so interconnected that any action must be considered a global action. It is an interesting an important viewpoint that should be considered. It is not simply "think globally, act locally". It is more that even a small local action may have global implications.

The film leaves many questions unanswered and, as a whole, doesn't flow very well. It could have been better made. There is nothing compelling in it, meaning that a viewer may be tempted to stop watching the film entirely at certain points. There is no hook that makes us want to see how it ends. There are no compelling relationships and some issues seem unresolved that could easily have been. Still, a few scenes are definitely worth seeing.

For those interested in the world of cyber security, political intrigue, and government surveillance, this documentary may be of interest. For the general public, however, it may simply be too dull.


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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:

Risk See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,327, 7 May 2017

Gross USA:

$200,219

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$214,669
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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