Depending on who you believe, Khodorkovsky was either a villainous oligarch who profited unconscionable from the great privatization spree overseen by Boris Yeltsin after the fall of the CCCP or he was an overly brave reformer who, after seeing where corruption inevitably leads, decided to spearhead a campaign to clean up Russian commercial and political life.
The facts are pretty straightforward: Yukos, the oil company he controlled, was dismembered by the Russian government on the orders of Vladimir Putin and Khodorkovsky was found guilty of crimes so poorly defined and glibly presented that even Robert Mugabe's tinpot regime would have been embarrassed by such overt political strong-arming of a private citizen. Khodorkovsky remains in a Siberian prison camp to this day because Putin deems him too dangerous to release.
The most interesting thing, for me, was watching Putin himself. If ever one had any doubts that the President of Russia is nothing more than a little thug who is utterly out of his depth, this documentary dispels them completely. The scene in which Khodorkovsky, at the annual "meet the President" jamboree in the Kremlin, raises the issue of corruption is fascinating. Putin is clearly aware of the fact that in comparison to the businessman who has the audacity to wash dirty linen in public he, the nominal President, is merely a non-entity. Intellectually dwarfed by the Yukos' boss and incapable of grasping the importance of the problem of corruption in Russian life, Putin reacted by jailing the man who was willing to confront it. Out of sight, out of mind - this is the best Putin is capable of.
Russia's tragedy is that it is controlled by a venal and rather stupid clique incapable of grasping the fact that rent-seeking ultimately destroys the entire economy. No doubt Putin imagines himself Russia's savior. In reality he's its destroyer. Fortunately for his ability to sleep at night, Putin lacks the intellectual capacity to comprehend what he's done to his beloved country.
Meanwhile, the man who was able to grasp the issues and propose the most plausible solution remains to this day in jail, ignored by the West and suppressed by his own government. Russia, so full of intellegent and capable people, is doomed to stagnate and rot until nothing much is left. This documentary is simply the presage of things to come.