Abramovich: An Oligarch in the Shadow of Putin

The story of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich intricately intertwined with the twists and turns of Russian politics. From Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika to the economic hardship of the Yeltsin years, Abramovich made his way to becoming an insider in Vladimir Putin’s mafia state. 

This film traces his life from his childhood as an orphan in the Soviet era, to his role as an oil magnate with his yachts, his villas, including in the South of France. Not to mention his time as the owner of Chelsea Football Club, which he was forced to sell due to sanctions. His life is like the story of a perfect tightrope walker, balanced between Putin and the West, shrouded in secrecy and ambiguity.

We reveal how he built his fortune, much of which is currently under sanctions. And also how he betrayed his old friend and mentor, Boris Berezovsky, who was found hanged in his bathroom just six months after fighting, and losing, a dramatic court case against Abramovich in London.

It is difficult to guess what Faustian bargain Abramovich has made with Vladimir Putin, which allows him to navigate through the troubled waters of Russian politics. Roman Abramovich has never given an interview. Director Stéphane Bentura, who was based in Moscow as a journalist, investigated Abramovich over several months, tracing his connections in Russia, Lithuania, the UK and Portugal. He found first-hand witnesses to the big moments of Abramovich’s life, as well as exclusive archive and rare footage. Abramovich is as powerful as he is elusive, a man who continually covers his tracks. This film reveals the inside story of his life. 


  • Year: 2023
  • Duration: 52 mins
  • Production: Magneto
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: France

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