Review of Risk

Risk (I) (2016)
7/10
Ballad of a Vain Man
19 September 2017
The ability of whistle-blowers to leak sensitive, and even secret, information is an essential check on the potential abuse of power by government. But Julain Assange, founder of Wikileaks, a website established to assist such whistle-blowers, is a deeply problematic figure: an egoist who falls out with his own collaborators with amazing frequency; a man who seemed hardly to take accusations of rape seriously; an instinctive anarchist who sometimes seems to be fighting not government tyranny everywhere, but exclusively in America. This documentary was conceived as a friendly venture (in fact, the film-maker quietly reveals she is not exactly a neutral party in the story), but the essential vanity of Assange is clearly on display. Ultimately, it's hard to avoid concluding that whatever good Wikileaks might have done has been fatally compromised by the man at its core.
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