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95 Ratings


Directed by Laura Poitras
Germany, United States, 2016


Continues Laura Poitras’ examination of controversial figures who both risk and betray. With unparalleled access over five years, Poitras offers an intimate portrait of the cypherpunk underground in an era of ever-increasing surveillance and secrecy.

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Risk Directed by Laura Poitras
Poitras was loudly criticized by Assange’s supporters for changing it from the hero’s journey she debuted last year at Cannes to something more critical, complicated, and at best ambivalent about the man. Yet ambivalence is the most honest thing about the film. It is the emotion Assange often stirs up in those who support the WikiLeaks mission but are disturbed by its chief missionary.
June 20, 2017
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While Poitras dwells on accusations against Jacob Appelbaum, with whom she was briefly involved, it comes so late in the film as to feel a relative afterthought. The competing theses of the documentary all feel underserved, though, something succinctly displayed in the film’s final twenty minutes: a string of updates and angles, superficially grasped, in search of a pointed relevancy slipping ever out of reach
June 17, 2017
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At Risk in May 2017 is my first time watching Trump’s election in a theater. The images feel suddenly already historical, familiar and cold. I feel stirred and depleted… Poitras’s film captures an eroticism hovering between a plugged-in inner circle and its diffuse audience, between radical action and tired power dynamics. The internet is both subject and vehicle of self and sexuality.
June 01, 2017
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What are people saying?

  • smndvdcl's rating of the film Risk

    Separating the art and the artist is what we do with filmmakers. So let's start with Wikileaks - I have so much respect for what the group do as a challenge to unaccountable international authority. With regards to Julian Assange's history and allegations against him, I don't know. I wish there was a video trial where no extradition variable was involved. As for Poitras' agenda with this doc, I have many questions.

  • Filipe F. Coutinho's rating of the film Risk

    Risk often feels like a disjointed work-in-progress, instead of a fully fleshed narrative, which is somewhat understandable considering the nature of the subject and his continuing fight. So if on the one hand, the unprecedented access to Assange and his team can be riveting, on the other Risk lacks the social exposé Poitras is so gifted at building.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Risk

    The backstory is more interesting than most of the film: a political documentarian recuts her film after politics are upended. If nothing else, Risk captures disorientation: a leftist folk hero helped elect Trump, and you have to wonder if even a transparency organization can be trusted. The last 15 minutes are haunting, but Risk is but a snapshot of a story that's far from over. Someday, the full movie will be made.

  • MATTEO BITTANTI's rating of the film Risk

    This is more about Laura Poitras' growing disenchantment for Assange than a documentary about Assange and Wikileaks. As such, it is a much more personal project than her previous efforts (including the companion piece, Citizenfour), and, in many ways, less interesting.

  • Tasha saraswati's rating of the film Risk

    I believe how the film portray assange here as a not-so-perfect-hero is appropriate, and reminds us that sometimes behind a great cause there may be lacking people orchestrating it, but that shouldn’t demean the cause at all. So I think it’s better to be loyal to a principle rather than to a person. But I also want to view the cannes cut of the film for comparison of assange’s character.

  • Riley Fowler's rating of the film Risk

    The film struggles to find its voice which is, in all likelihood, a concomitant of Laura Poitras's documentation of a man manacled by the incapacity to find his own. 'Risk' is an unapologetic profile of perchance the world's most controversial figure (WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange) which judiciously accentuates the paradox that exists between WikiLeaks's stated mission and the ulterior ambitions of its figurehead.

  • adamjaymorris's rating of the film Risk

    I get it, Poitras doesn't like Assange. Risk doesn't compare favorably to Citizenfour, her compelling and emotional documentary about the Snowden revelations. It's worth watching for the unique access she had to Wikileaks from 2010-2014. But Poitras's disgust for Assange is so strong that she gets in her own way.

  • steeeeellaaaaa (Iulia N)'s rating of the film Risk

    It's really nice to see a more personal approach from such a great documentary director like Laura and get a glimpse inside her relationship with the subject

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