18.10.2017

RISK - The Story of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange

Fritt Ord and Oslo Documentary Cinema invite the public to a screening of Risk followed by a debate on Wednesday, 18 October 2017, at 6 p.m. at Cinemateket.

Is Julian Assange a martyr for transparency, democracy and freedom of expression, or a narcissistic hacker-terrorist interested only in his own ego?

And how is it possible, under the rule of law, for someone to end up in legal limbo and de facto house arrest, without any indictment or judgment, as Julian Assange is experiencing in the Ecuadorian embassy in London?

The debate after the film will feature Petter Ljunggren, Hanne Eggen Røislien and Mads Andenes. The moderator will be Ingerid Salvesen. 

Theatre: Tancred
Tickets NOK 80 (NOK 50 for Cinemateket-members and students. Buy a "member" ticket if you are a student) are available at cinemateket.no or at the House of Film. Open every day.


ABOUT THE DEBATE

Is Julian Assange a hero or a villain, and how is it possible for him to be in such a legal limbo, with no prospects for when or how he can get out of house arrest?

Have WikiLeaks leaks made the world a better place, or are they, quite to the contrary, a threat to the safety of individuals and states alike?

ON THE PANEL

Petter Ljunggren is the reporter on SVT's 'Assignment Investigation'. He has previously been editor of 'Facts' on Swedish TV and editor of the journal Scoop. Among other things, he has made the documentary The Assange Case, which was shown on Swedish TV in September 2016.

Hanne Eggen Røislien is a researcher on the general staff of the Cyber Defence. She are also affiliated with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. and used to be a researcher at the International Peace Research Institute and the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies in Oslo.

Mads Andenes is a professor at the Department of Private Law at the University of Oslo. He previously chaired the UN Working Group and was the UN's special rapporteur on arbitrary imprisonment. He has also been director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and director of the Centre of European Law at King's College, University of London. 

Ingerid Salvesen (moderator) is a journalist whose background includes the financial daily Dagens Næringsliv, and she is co-host of the foreign affairs podcast 'Du Verden!'


ABOUT THE FILM

Laura Poitras has filmed the development of WikiLeaks since 2010. Her efforts have resulted in a very intriguing but also controversial film.

In fact, the film 'Risk' has already managed to become highly controversial. This is due both to Julian Assange's reaction, threatening to sue Director Laura Poitras for tens of millions of NOK, and to the individual yet investigative form of the film. It is a unique melange of a fly-on-the wall documentary and a personal story in which the film-maker's own feelings and relationships are integral parts of the plot.

The film has been more than 7 years in the making, from the publication of the "Collateral murder" video that came from Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning in 2010, and up until WikiLeak's infamous publication of emails from the US Democratic Party, which some would say handed Donald Trump the election, and which the FBI is investigating as a response to Russian hacking and not because of internal whistle-blowing. The film offers a close-up look at the person Julian Assange and his closest co-workers. At the same time, it rehashes the most important milestones in the life of WikiLeaks.

First released in 2016, the film premièred at the Cannes Film Festival. Since then, Poitras has both shot more film and edited the footage to include Trump's election victory and the controversy surrounding Assange's role in it.

Julian Assange is sitting in de facto house arrest in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He dare not, probably for very good reason, leave his asylum and go out on the street, because he fears being arrested and extradited to the USA, where he could be indicted and sentenced to a long prison sentence under difficult conditions if one is to believe certain US politicians and investigators.

At present, no charges have been filed against Assange, but he is nevertheless under house arrest. How is this possible under the rule of law? This question will be addressed during the discussion following the film.


 

At this year’s Holberg Debate, John Pilger, Julian Assange and Jonathan Heawood will discuss the presence of propaganda in news and social media, and its democratic implications. The debate will take place at The University Aula, Bergen, on Saturday 2 December 2017, 3 p.m. to 5.15 p.m.

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