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More than two hours long, Alex Gibney’s lively documentary is packed with information, context and archive footage of zany, bad-taste TV advertisements that use oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s story to frame Vladimir Putin’s ascent.
In Citizen Kane, publishing mogul Charles Foster Kane’s idealism is corrupted by an unquenchable thirst for power. In Citizen K, Russian plutocrat Khodorkovsky’s career trajectory veers in the opposite direction. One of seven oligarchs whose role in the state privatisations of the 1990s helped transform the country’s communism into “gangster capitalism”, as Gibney’s voiceover puts it, Khodorkovsky was complicit in Putin’s rise. Now living in London in exile (he is wanted for murder), he is one of the president’s fiercest and most vocal critics.
Beneath Khodorkovsky’s politician-slick exterior is a self-styled tough guy who grew up poor, receiving his first paycheck aged 14. Later, he would serve 10 years in a Siberian prison camp for tax evasion (as though members of the government weren’t just as guilty themselves). Still, Gibney struggles to psychologically penetrate his cold antihero.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Citizen K review – from filthy rich to Kremlin foe | Documentary films