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About the Film
When Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russia's richest oligarch, begins to support the political opposition and challenges Russia's all powerful president Vladimir Putin, he sets in motion a series of events that are still being felt today and most likely for years to come. Enraged, Putin instructs his secret service police to arrest Khodorkovsky in a dramatic raid on his private jet in October 2003 and then banishes him on trumped up charges of tax evasion to a Siberian gulag.
Usual western crap about Russia.
Having worked in Russia and the former Soviet Union, I always took an interest in the going's on. The people I encounter, especially in Russia, were to my mind generally a stock of vulgar, rude and angry people. The oligarchs though live in a different world!
I had always thought of them as lucky criminals who talked nationalistic while at home, but at weekend loved to spend time in their villas in the South of France and London while tooling around in Rolls Royces with an entourage of blonds from back home!
This movie gave a different insight - at least into one man with some moral fibre! He highlights how these assets, built-up under Stalin's boot-heel, came to be transferred for a song to an elite circle around President Yeltsin, his daughter and other insiders.
I was left wishing that this oligarch had survived to fight another day. His intentions were good, but like most Russians (that I have met) his arrogance was his undoing.
A warning to us in the west - be mindful when dealing with this lot and it also reinforces the need to protect our democracies. Overall, its better to create your wealth and not to steal or 'transfer' it!, there is no need to crave their empty wealth and pointless private jets and super-yachts. They are in the end, social pollution. Khodorkovsky is the best of a bad bunch - Russia needs him, or someone with power with some little moral fibre!