Ithaka - A Fight to Free Julian Assange

Original English version with German subtitles
Ithaka Poster (Source:
Ben Lawrence
John Shipton (Himself), Stella Moris (Herself), John Pilger (Himself)
Plot Outline

A moving and intimate portrayal of one father’s fight to save his son, Ithaka exposes the brutal realities of the campaign to free Julian Assange.

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 a symbol of an international struggle over press freedom, 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 wife, Stella Assange, 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.


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, along with The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde, El Pais und Der Spiegel, published evidence of war crimes and has been politically persecuted by the US government for 12 years. As the US demands his extradition, he is been held in Belmarsh maximum security prison in London for three and a half years. In the US, he would face an unfair trial and 175 years in prison.

The persecution of Julian Assange is an attempt to criminalize investigative journalism. The human right to inform and to be informed is under attack.

Journalists, who might be tempted to be inspired by the work of WikiLeaks, as well as potential whistleblowers, are being intimidated.


115 minutes
Production country