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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
Director Laura Poitras was romantically involved with activist, journalist, computer security researcher and artist Jacob Appelbaum, who at the same time was a subject of her documentary film project about WikiLeaks. She often mentions Appelbaum in her book "Astro Noise" using only the affectionate form 'Jake'. The opening photo in "Astro Noise" shows Poitras stretched out on a daybed in the sunlight and is credited to Appelbaum. See more »
[to Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy]
It's like you're in college - where do you sleep?
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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.
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