“If you’re not fighting every day for what you believe in, and another day disappears, you are losing.” — Julian Assange, in RISK
Laura Poitras began filming RISK—her very up-to-date look at Assange’s activities thusfar—before she shot Citizenfour.* Shortly after the 2013 events documented in the Edward Snowden documentary transpired, Poitras and Assange had a falling out. As it happened, once U.S. intelligence agencies became aware of Snowden’s location in Asia, Wikileaks editor and advisor Sarah Harrison was instrumental in securing the NSA leaker’s safe passage from Hong Kong to Moscow. Assange apparently felt that Poitras should—naturally—disseminate her Snowden material via Wikileaks. Poitras disagreed.:
“I tell him I can’t be his source. I don’t tell him that I don’t trust him.” — Laura Poitras, on Assange, in RISK
Three years later, in the run-up to the 2016 election, Assange agreed to let Poitras set up cameras inside his residence at the embassy of Ecuador in London, and she continued to film her documentary.
On Saturday night, May 6, in Hollywood, Selma director Ava Duvernay will participate in a Q & A with Poitras following the 7:30 pm screening of RISK. On Sunday, Poitras will be joined in a second Q & A by Alex Winter.
RISK is now in cinemas.
ARCLIGHT HOLLYWOOD, 6360 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood
LAEMMLE MONICA FILM CENTER, 1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica
Poitras–Duvernay Q & A, Saturday, May 6, at 7:30 pm. ARCLIGHT HOLLYWOOD
Poitras–Winter Q & A, Sunday, May 7, after the 4:15 pm show. ARCLIGHT HOLLYWOOD
*CITIZENFOUR, Poitras’ documentary about Edward Snowden, was released in late 2014 and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary the following spring. RISK, released in May 2017, includes footage from congressional-hearing testimony by FBI director James Comey shot less than two months earlier.
Risk (2017), directed by Laura Poitras
Image credit: Showtime