Ithaka review – intriguing portrait of the campaign to free Julian Assange

The WikiLeaks founder’s father, John Shipton, and fiancee, Stella Moris, take centre stage in Ben Lawrence’s documentary

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange remained in the public consciousness, even while he was out of sight, hunkered down in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, with the threat of extradition to the US hanging over him. But this film is not about Assange so much as it is about the members of his family who found themselves thrust into the public eye as the spokespeople for the campaign for his release.

Two figures take centre stage: one is Stella Moris, Assange’s fiancee and the mother of two children conceived while he remained in the embassy. The other is John Shipton, Assange’s father. Shipton is a fascinating character – abrupt, ill at ease with the voracious press attention, but also possessed of a sharp, unusual intelligence that tends to veer off at jarring tangents. It’s a mind, you suspect, that is not dissimilar to that of his son.

Watch a trailer for Ithaka.


Wendy Ide

The GuardianTramp

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