*Panel discussion following screening with Julian Assange’s father John Shipton and brother Gabriel Shipton.
Filmed over two years across the UK, Europe and the US, this documentary follows 76 year-old retired builder, John Shipton’s tireless campaign to save his son, Julian Assange.
The world’s most famous political prisoner, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, has become an emblem of an international arm wrestle over freedom of journalism, government corruption and unpunished war crimes. Now with Julian facing a 175 year sentence if extradited to the US, his family members are confronting the prospect of losing Julian forever to the abyss of the US justice system.
This David-and-Goliath struggle is personal – and, with Julian’s health declining in a British maximum-security prison and American government prosecutors attempting to extradite him to face trial in the US , the clock is ticking.
Weaving historic archive and intimate behind-the-scenes footage, this story tracks John’s journey alongside Julian’s fiancée, Stella Moris, as they join forces to advocate for Julian. We witness John embark on a European odyssey to rally a global network of supporters, advocate to politicians and cautiously step into the media’s glare – where he is forced to confront events that made Julian a global flashpoint.
Ithaka provides a timely reminder of the global issues at stake in this case, as well as an insight into the personal toll inflicted by the arduous, often lonely task of fighting for a cause bigger than oneself.
Written & Directed by Ben Lawrence. Produced by Gabriel Shipton. With John Shipton, Stella Moris, Ai Weiwei, Vivienne Westwood, Daniel Ellsberg & John Pilger. Original Music by Brian Eno.