Filmmaker Laura Poitras has been documenting Julian Assange’s exploits for six years. In that time, the Wikileaks founder has gone from liberal darling to Sarah Palin’s favourite rootin’-tootin’-techy-guy. Now, Poitras has reached a point that she feels the story can be told and she’s released a trailer for her new film Risk.
Poitras is a veteran documentary filmmaker who is known for going solo into dangerous situations. Along with Glenn Greenwald, she broke the Edward Snowden story and helped report the leaks for The Washington Post and The Guardian. In 2014 she debuted Citizenfour, a film comprised of footage that she shot while Snowden fled U.S. authorities. That film got Poitras an Oscar, going beyond the Snowden story to become a portrait of the massive surveillance state that the U.S. has been building for years.
With Risk, we’re going to find out if the director can pull off that kind of vital filmmaking with numerous threads about modern life while focusing on a subject that’s decidedly less likable than Snowden. Assange created a new kind of whistleblower journalism with his approach to Wikileaks and along the way, he’s revealed some vital information. But he’s also been a self-aggrandising egomaniac, an unstoppable publicity hound, he sits in an Ecuadorian embassy hiding from rape charges in Sweden, and there are a number of people who blame him in part for getting Donald Trump elected. Actually, what am I saying? This movie sounds great. It’s one of the most epic stories ever told.
No official date has been set, but Risk will premiere in the US on Showtime this summer. You can check out the trailer below.