• Laura Poitras
  • United States
  • 2016
  • 86 min
  • Retrospective: Laura Poitras

“This is not the film I thought I was making. I thought I could ignore the contradictions; I thought they were not part of the story. I was so wrong. They’re becoming the story.” We are half an hour into the film when director Laura Poitras speaks these words as she reflects on her own project.

From this point on, her portrait of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange morphs into something far more personal and far broader: an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of a network that operates underground to impose transparency. So where are the safeguards in this organization that demands total loyalty from those who support its cause?

From 2011 to 2013, Poitras had completely free access to Assange, who is utterly unguarded in his display of charisma and egomania. But when she helps Edward Snowden with the publication of confidential NSA information—without consulting Assange—she’s no longer welcome in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he resides. In the years that follow, the growing influence of WikiLeaks takes on an increasingly dubious character.


  • 86 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English, Arabic, Spanish, German
Laura Poitras
Laura Poitras, Brenda Coughlin, Yoni Golijov
Executive producer
Sam Esmail, Vinnie Malhotra, Charlotte Cook, AJ Schnack, Michael Bloom, Adam Pincus, David Menschel, Jess Search, Ben Schwartz
Katy Scoggin, Jonah Greenstein, Kirsten Johnson, Melody London
Erin Casper, Melody London, Laura Poitras

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Retrospective: Laura Poitras

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