In 2003, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, one of the richest men in Russia, began a ten-year sentence for tax evasion. Many believed his downfall was challenging the newly elected president Vladimir Putin. During his decade in a Siberian prison, Khodorkovsky became a world-famous dissident. Today, exiled in London, he continues to battle Putin’s 19-year hold on power.
With this exquisite cinematic portrait of Khodorkovsky, prolific documentarian Alex Gibney utilises more than 20 hours of interviews with the man himself, as well as conversations with Khodorkovsky’s friends and enemies. The result is an engrossing exploration of his life: from his years as a young communist youth in the Soviet Union, to his days as a ruthless oligarch – and Russia’s richest man – in the capitalist 90s, to his transformation into the outspoken opponent of the Russian regime that he is today. From his exile in London, Khodorkovsky works tirelessly on his Open Russia initiative, which denounces Putin and encourages democratic reforms in his homeland. More than a character portrait, Citizen K examines power in Russia and unlocks many of the political conflicts and contradictions ailing the country today.