The latest documentary from the extraordinarily prolific Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room; Taxi to the Dark Side) is an expansive exposé of post-Soviet Russia, told from the perspective of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former oligarch turned political dissident. Benefitting from the chaos that ensued after the dissolution of the USSR, Khodorkovsky swiftly became the richest man in the country. However, when he accused the new Putin regime of corruption, he was arrested, his assets seized, and was he ultimately sentenced to ten years in prison. Today, as an exile living in London, he continues to speak out against Putin’s two-decade stranglehold on power.
Expertly researched and photographed, Gibney uses Khodorkovsky’s story as a means to explore the complex interplay between oligarchy and government, and its destructive effect on democracy.
(Notes by David O’Mahony.)
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