Citizen K, dir. Alex Gibney, UK / USA 2019, 125 min., English and Russian with English subtitles, 15
An absorbing documentary overview of Putin’s rise to power, centred upon exiled Russian oligarch and political dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Alex Gibney's Citizen K begins with an account of how a small group of interconnected Russian oligarchs used brute force, political smarts and a complete lack of morals to carve up over half of all the country’s wealth for themselves during the fall of the Soviet Union. The film then documents how the oligarchs colluded to bring Putin to leadership, offering a close-up account of how Putin moved from under their thumb, setting up a dangerous confrontation with our lead character - the charismatic billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky, now exiled in London.
Gibney expertly dodges through truths and half-truths, history and propaganda, to deliver a thrilling documentary.