This engrossing new documentary tells the story of Russian (and half Jewish) former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who made an immense fortune out of Russia’s oil during the country’s transition period following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. Eager to maintain their control over Russia’s natural assets and media outlets, he and his fellow oligarchs – a tiny group of individuals who held at the time more than half of Russia’s wealth – colluded to put Putin into power. A later clash with the increasingly powerful leader, however, resulted in Khodorkovsky spending 10 years in jail and, subsequently, fleeing to London, where he still lives and actively campaigns against Putin. Gibney’s thrilling film follows Khodorkovsky’s vicissitudes of fortune – he is still an incredibly wealthy man, but, wanted for murder in his native land, he is barred from going back – as much as it tells the story of a whole country which, almost 30 years on, still grapples with the notions of capitalism, privatisation and democracy.
Suggested certificate: 15