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Julian Assange documentary "Risk" is brilliant and haunting

Chumley

Banned
Just watched this. It was made by Laura Poitras (Citizenfour) and essentially chronicles her time spent with Assange through 2009 - early 2017. I'd sum it up by describing it as a dark descent into the the story of Wikileaks, culminating in an utterly bleak vision of present day, set to an industrial score inspired by Trent Reznor. An extremely relevant documentary for everyone to watch and a fascinating glimpse into the mind of Assange.

Trailer

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/jun/29/laura-poitras-wikileaks-film-risk-julian-assange

In one astonishing scene, Assange talks to Helena Kennedy QC, who is advising him on how to deal with the allegations. Assange says, as if to excuse himself, that it is a ”radical feminist conspiracy" and dismisses the complainants as lesbians. Kennedy tells him it is not helpful to talk like this. ”No, not publicly," he says, while being filmed. Her look of despair is priceless. Assange then explains why it is not in the best interests of the women to press charges. ”An actual court case is going to be very hard for these women ... they will be reviled for ever by a large segment of the world population. I don't think it's in their interest to proceed that way.''

It is this scene that led to Poitras and Assange's falling out. She promised him she would show him the film when it was ready. And shortly before an early version of Risk premiered at Cannes, he did see it – and blew a gasket. ”His lawyers demanded we took this scene out, and another one where he talks about the investigation and the women involved. We didn't, and then he sent a text saying the film is a threat to his freedom and he is forced to treat it accordingly." What right did he have to make that demand? ”He had no right. He had no editorial control over the film."

Did it surprise her when he tried to censor Risk? ”Yes it absolutely did, considering what WikiLeaks stands for. I was surprised on the ideological level – not only did he demand that things were removed, but more recently he sent ‘cease and desist' letters to my distributors demanding that they stop releasing the film. He was really angry and he tried to intimidate."



It's available on iTunes and Amazon video for rental, also through Showtime.
 
I listened to a radio 4 documentary on this. The director said that Assange is always behaving as if he is on camera and has an agenda. A manipulator and in control of his image and information he shares.

Will be interesting to watch this documentary
 
Hmm. £5.99 on Amazon, so about the price of a cinema ticket (UK here). Super interested in the chronicles of the Bond villain that is Julian Assange so think I'll give it a shot - GAF is yet to let me down in film recommendations. Citizen Four any good? I loved the Hollywood interpretation, Snowden, with Joseph Gordon Levitt. The documentary just as good as that?

Anyway, shall be checking out the Assange doc and reporting back with impressions! Thanks OP, needed something to watch later.
 

SamVimes

Member
Hmm. £5.99 on Amazon, so about the price of a cinema ticket (UK here). Super interested in the chronicles of the Bond villain that is Julian Assange so think I'll give it a shot - GAF is yet to let me down in film recommendations. Citizen Four any good? I loved the Hollywood interpretation, Snowden, with Joseph Gordon Levitt. The documentary just as good as that?

Anyway, shall be checking out the Assange doc and reporting back with impressions! Thanks OP, needed something to watch later.

Citizenfour is great. I haven't watched the Oliver Stone movie but it's supposed to be much worse.
 

Chumley

Banned
Hmm. £5.99 on Amazon, so about the price of a cinema ticket (UK here). Super interested in the chronicles of the Bond villain that is Julian Assange so think I'll give it a shot - GAF is yet to let me down in film recommendations. Citizen Four any good? I loved the Hollywood interpretation, Snowden, with Joseph Gordon Levitt. The documentary just as good as that?

Anyway, shall be checking out the Assange doc and reporting back with impressions! Thanks OP, needed something to watch later.

Citizenfour is really good but this is even better.
 
Hmm. £5.99 on Amazon, so about the price of a cinema ticket (UK here). Super interested in the chronicles of the Bond villain that is Julian Assange so think I'll give it a shot - GAF is yet to let me down in film recommendations. Citizen Four any good? I loved the Hollywood interpretation, Snowden, with Joseph Gordon Levitt. The documentary just as good as that?

Anyway, shall be checking out the Assange doc and reporting back with impressions! Thanks OP, needed something to watch later.

The Snowden documentary is incredible. You won't be disappointed.
 

Oriel

Member
I hope this film isn't yet another pro-Assange, anti-West whinge.

"Look at how great Assange is in standing up to the (((globali$ts)))"
 

Chumley

Banned
I hope this film isn't yet another pro-Assange, anti-West whinge.

"Look at how great Assange is in standing up to the (((globali$ts)))"

It's not pro-Assange at all. It exposes him for who he really is, Poitras says almost verbatim during the film how her opinion of him changed over the course of filming.
 

hidys

Member
I hope this film isn't yet another pro-Assange, anti-West whinge.

"Look at how great Assange is in standing up to the (((globali$ts)))"

I haven't watched the film since it appears to be unavailable in my country but the trailer doesn't give that impression and the couple of reviews on RT don't either. It seems more balanced than that.
 

Chumley

Banned
I haven't watched the film since it appears to be unavailable in my country but the trailer doesn't give that impression and the couple of reviews on RT don't either. It seems more balanced than that.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/jun/29/laura-poitras-wikileaks-film-risk-julian-assange

In one astonishing scene, Assange talks to Helena Kennedy QC, who is advising him on how to deal with the allegations. Assange says, as if to excuse himself, that it is a ”radical feminist conspiracy" and dismisses the complainants as lesbians. Kennedy tells him it is not helpful to talk like this. ”No, not publicly," he says, while being filmed. Her look of despair is priceless. Assange then explains why it is not in the best interests of the women to press charges. ”An actual court case is going to be very hard for these women ... they will be reviled for ever by a large segment of the world population. I don't think it's in their interest to proceed that way.''

It is this scene that led to Poitras and Assange's falling out. She promised him she would show him the film when it was ready. And shortly before an early version of Risk premiered at Cannes, he did see it – and blew a gasket. ”His lawyers demanded we took this scene out, and another one where he talks about the investigation and the women involved. We didn't, and then he sent a text saying the film is a threat to his freedom and he is forced to treat it accordingly." What right did he have to make that demand? ”He had no right. He had no editorial control over the film."

Did it surprise her when he tried to censor Risk? ”Yes it absolutely did, considering what WikiLeaks stands for. I was surprised on the ideological level – not only did he demand that things were removed, but more recently he sent ‘cease and desist' letters to my distributors demanding that they stop releasing the film. He was really angry and he tried to intimidate."
 

Zolo

Member
Did it surprise her when he tried to censor Risk? ”Yes it absolutely did, considering what WikiLeaks stands for. I was surprised on the ideological level – not only did he demand that things were removed, but more recently he sent ‘cease and desist' letters to my distributors demanding that they stop releasing the film. He was really angry and he tried to intimidate."
And there's the truth. That's not what it stands for. Of course, excuses will be made to ignore this.
 
Citizenfour was amazing and led to great and interesting debates at work. Assange is a dick but he played an important role in several historic developments... very curious how Poitras handles him.
 

Machina

Banned
Assange in a weird way reminds me a lot of Steve Jobs: he knows he is an important figure in modern times, and allows that knowledge to go to his head. The part about wanting to censor the doco is particularly egregious. Practice what you preach, Julian.
 
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