Movie Review: Laura Poitras’ ethically muddled Risk loses itself inside WikiLeaks

File Risk away for future classes on filmmaking ethics. Laura Poitras began work on a film about Julian Assange, the white-haired founder of WikiLeaks, and his inner circle of associates and activists in 2011, some years before she started filming Citizenfour, her Oscar-winning documentary about the Nsa whistleblower Edward Snowden. The result premiered at Cannes almost exactly a year ago, and if accounts are to believed (though who knows), it was well received as a less revelatory companion piece to the Snowden film, made with unprecedented access to the elusive Assange. But this cut of the film no longer exists. In fact, Risk never acknowledges that it did. In the year since its first screening, the documentary has been re-edited in light of Assange’s involvement in the Democratic National Committee email leaks and of allegations about sexual abuse by the activist and hacker Jacob Appelbaum, who previously appeared in ...
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