Citizen K (2019)

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Citizen K: Directed by Alex Gibney. With Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Vladimir Putin, Leonid Nevzlin, Boris Berezovsky. The strange case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once believed to be the wealthiest man in Russia, who rocketed to prosperity and prominence in the 1990s, served a decade in prison, and became an unlikely martyr for the anti-Putin movement.

“Gibney is not interested in understanding Khodorkovskyu0026#39;s character and motives behind his economic crimes, nor how painful Russiau0026#39;s past, that people like Khodorkovsky made twice as miserable, is still shaping present-day Russian politics. Khodorkovsky and history are merely scenography in this film. Gibney is only interested in modern Russia and its leader. Itu0026#39;s clear from the start that his opinion about Russia and the Russian president were made up years before he even met Khodorkovsky who serves as a vehicle for Gibney to drive his point back home. His point is, of course, that Vladimir Putin is an authoritarian leader.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eUnfortunately, neither Gibney nor his subject has an ounce of credibility and/or objectivity and their opinions carry little weight. Gibney is a political activist of liberal ilk, self-righteous crusader against abuses of power that he even sees in exposing of governmental abuses and crimes like in yet another activist piece, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2013). Itu0026#39;s worth mentioning that it was his government not the Russian or Chinese that was exposed in u0026quot;unjournalistic manneru0026quot; which was offensive to Gibneyu0026#39;s u0026quot;high professional standardsu0026quot;. This all coming from a documentarian that publicly states he doesnu0026#39;t believe in journalistic objectivity. On the other hand, his subject is a criminal that plundered billions from impoverished Russian citizens plunging them into even greater poverty and indignity.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIn Gibneyu0026#39;s story, a criminal is the romantic hero, martyr and a champion of democracy and the man who delivered Russian people from abysmal poverty (that was at least doubled by the theft perpetrated by Khodorkovsky and his comrades) is the villain. Gibney couldnu0026#39;t be less interested if Russian citizens agree with his outsider perception of Russian politics and public figures. Russian perception of Russian reality is irrelevant to him. The intricacies of Khodorkovskyu0026#39;s crimes that reveal his true nature are also irrelevant and or just glanced over so that Gibney can avoid accusations of creating outright political propaganda. But make no mistake; this is propaganda, all right.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eGibney seems intellectually dishonest because he refuses to accept that the oligarchs he glorifies almost single-handedly created a socio-economic system so corrupt, so immoral and contemptible that it crushed any hopes the Russians had about social and economic liberalization. Semibankirschina didnu0026#39;t just support Putinu0026#39;s campaign in 1999; their boundless corruption convinced the whole country that there is no other way but Putin. Russians keep voting for his party because they shiver when they remember the 90s and the likes of Khodorkovsky who took away their pensions so they couldnu0026#39;t buy food and medications. Not to mention their daughters being trafficked abroad to be prostitutes so they could send some money home for the younger siblings after oligarchs fired everyone from the illegally obtained state companies even though they made assurance that they will keep the workforce.”


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