A Russian billionaire! Money laundering! Oil squandering! A nation hung up on Soviet-era political power games! Khodorkovsky is German director Cyril Tuschi’s largely flattering account of Mikhail Khodorkovsky—once the richest oligarch in Russia, but now just a guy who’s done time in Siberian and Finnish work camps. Khodorkovsky’s crimes? Fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, and oil theft—well, maybe. Tuschi’s film obviously favors the fallen billionaire, who was arrested in 2003—on a plane by a gang of hooded goons, no less—and sent back to the labor camps in a 2010 retrial. The 48-year-old baron claims he got locked up because he crossed Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, first by re-entering politics to support a rival candidate after promising to quit, and later by blowing the whistle on corruption in Putin’s Kremlin. If you’re bored by political dick-measuring contests, never fear: The film also features some rather engrossing black-and-white animated segments, including one in which Khodorkovsky takes a Scrooge McDuckesque swim in a pile of gold coins.
The film opens tonight and shows all week at E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW. $11. landmarktheatres.com. (202) 452-7672.