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  May 9, 2017

Laura Poitras: A filmmaker who takes risks

The Oscar-winning documentarian discusses her new film Risk, about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.


Robert Scheer is the editor-in-chief of Truthdig. He's also a professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and host of the KCRW podcast Scheer Intelligence. For decades, Bob was the national correspondent, and then columnist, for the Los Angeles Times. He's the author of many books, including The Great American Stickup, The Pornography of Power, and most recently They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.

Laura Poitras has directed several documentaries including The Oath and the Academy Award winning Citizenfour about Edward Snowden. In their conversation, Poitras and Robert Scheer discuss Assange's complexity and whether he has the right as a publisher to post leaked documents on Wikileaks. Poitras believes Assange to be an "equal-opportunity leaker" who would have published less than flattering information about Donald Trump during the presidential campaign if Assange had obtained it. Although Poitras says her films have been professionally and personally risky for her, she also acknowledges that the risks to her subjects have been far greater.

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