Risk – Movie Review



Laura Poitras

2 1/2 Frames

By: Shari K. Green


Risk, the Julian Assange documentary, can’t possibly be the whole truth.  I left wondering why this film was even made if it wasn’t.  You only get pieces of it the story.  You truly are most likely hearing lies and what’s most blistering is, you leave wondering, ‘Why?’  What was this all about?  Assange comes off looking, well, okay, I guess.  Like an important spoiled brat who thinks he’s a conductor or a puppet master with the world as his stage.

Oscar-winner Laura Poitras, who made the gripping Edward Snowden documentary “Citizenfour” is granted almost unheard-of access to Assange.  Though she is given access, she thinks he hates her and is probably right.  He seems to hate everyone except himself.  The argumentative Wikileaks founder likes to talk about himself and seems to enjoy the idea that he is being watched.  In 2011, where the film starts, several people around him have to clear the area and keep the noise down as he peeks around to see if he’s being followed or listened to.  This doesn’t do much for the film but when we move into the duties of the other Wikileaks members, it gets more exciting.  What’s of real interest is when Assange makes early attempts to get a hold of the Hillary Clinton campaign.  His team tells her team that it’s desperate that they talk to them, and even explain that it’s of an important nature regarding documents but they are brushed aside.  This crash and burn leaves one to wonder if the emails would have surfaced later toward the end of the campaign had this been dealt with more respectfully.  Anyway, he ends up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and there he stays and stays and stays; his own personal hell.

When the film dives into politics, you get fired up.  When it’s on Assange himself, it’s kind of dull.  He’s accused of sexual assault and claims they’ll regret saying it one day.  He believes he is larger than life, that much is clear.  To those who love him, maybe he is.  Lady Gaga interviews him and asks him who all is after him and he seems eager and proud to announce who is.

Poitras keeps her distance but I wonder what she really thought of her subject and I’m not sure she really said.  He had a big ego and wanted to see the footage before it was ever released.  With questions surrounding Trump it feels as if this film could still be going on but it is out.  If you’re a political junkie, check it out.  If not… best to skip until you see what happens with Russiagate.


About Shari K. Green

Shari became fascinated by films when at the age of seven she saw a movie being made in front of her house. As a teenager she immersed herself in the culture of film working on stage and then became a cinephile, working in a video store. Since then she expanded into film criticism writing for the last eight years and she has now written, directed and produced several short films and is currently working on a feature film project with her production company, Good Stew Productions, which she created with a few of her friends. Her favorite movies are “The Big Chill” and “Lonely Boy” and she enjoys watching Woody Allen films above all others.

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