[Cannes Review] Risk

Laura Poitras’ greatest strength as a documentarian is winning the trust of high-profile individuals and getting them to appear in front of her camera. In her recent features she has used this talent to bring a more acute sense of personal immediacy to stories that have dominated the news in the wake of 9/11. The Quest focused on Abu Jandal, Osama bin Laden’s former bodyguard, and Citizenfour observed Edward Snowden in the days leading up to his momentous disclosure of the Nsa’s global surveillance programs. As Citizenfour came out over a year after the events, which were extensively reported on by virtually every media outlet around the world, its appeal lay less in its revelations than in the fact that it allowed us to sit in on a moment that changed history. Sadly, this quality is largely missing from her new documentary Risk.

We do get to meet WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange,
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