A documentary tracing the fate of Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia's wealthiest man, now languishing in a Siberian prison.
The shambolic documentarist is becoming something of a stereotype, but Cyril Tuschi assumes the Moore/Broomfield mantle with amusing modesty in this deceptively trenchant profile of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oligarch whose feud with Vladimir Putin led to his imprisonment for tax evasion. Making canny use of archive footage, interviews and stylised animated reconstructions, Tuschi reveals how a chemistry student became an oil billionaire and fell foul of the Kremlin machine he had supposedly promised not to oppose. Having had copies of his film stolen in mysterious circumstances, Tuschi is well placed to appreciate Khodorkovsky’s plight. But he avoids hagiography in presenting a sobering snapshot of the corruption and debauchery that are rife in post-Communist Russia.
A documentary that takes fewer prisoners than Putin's KGB, Tuschi's study of Russian power politics is smart, scary and sobering.
Reviewed by Patrick Peters