Risk Screen 78 of 8 reviews

Risk

2016

Risk Poster
  • If the movie isn't quite the high-wire act of the previous films, it's still alarming to watch these operations unfold in real time, and to see the degree of paranoia and precaution that outfits like WikiLeaks involve. The film boasts the kind of amazing access we've come to expect from Poitras.

  • Throughout the movie, Poitras provides exceptional access to Assange—his own mother is seen in a London hotel room helping to disguise his identity—and his WikiLeaks colleagues.

  • While lacking the narrative snap of CITIZENFOUR, it nonetheless returns us to the heightened state of awareness one tends to feel as the quarry of surveillance states. Among the film’s best tidbits (besides a cleverly estranging, nearly Marx Brothers moment when Lady Gaga materializes to interview Assange) is the paranoia-inducing revelation that keystrokes at a computer can be captured by an observer monitoring nearby power lines for vibrations.

  • [The DPs] trained their lenses on the WikiLeaks enterprise for years, allowing Poitras to achieve an intimate look that speaks to the experience of confinement and, somewhat conversely, the way that an individual can now practically control the world from their home computers. With her team, she achieves a broad scope that captures the messiness of the situation, deviating from Assange on a few occasions to observe concurrent developments...

  • It’s not as focused or as intense as Citizenfour, Poitras’s Oscar-winning last. Where that film had the constant, real-life thrill of being holed up with Snowden, Risk has the occasional tense scene like watching Assange disguise himself as a biker to flee to the Ecuador Embassy. But Poitras has again secured a coup of access.

  • [Citizenfour's] 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, but he hasn’t been as much of an enigma as her previous subjects, and otherwise Risk offers few new insights. What it does offer, as did Citizenfour, is a corroboration of our paranoia.

  • It never congeals into a single coherent drama, but it offers an engaging collage of Wikileaks' resilience against daunting odds.

  • The project evidently predated her Snowden documentary, but although it gives a certain insight into the paranoia and delusions of grandeur that even his supporters must admit are a part of Assange’s psyche, it lacks the explosive power of Citizenfour.

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