Citizenfour

Citizenfour

Laura Poitras (2014)

113min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Hong Kong, 2013: Edward Snowden, a former employee of the American National Security Agency, tells a select group of journalists (whom he has contacted under the handle Citizenfour) about the mass surveillance and gross abuses of power used by his organisation. Film-maker Laura Poitras is there to chronicle the meetings. From a very cynical perspective, this must surely be every documentarian's dream - to have a camera rolling as these inconvenient truths (for the government at least) are unveiled. For there is no denying the impact of Snowden's revelations and what it means to everyone in America, if not the world. Flagrant abuses of power are unveiled by the affable yet sincere whistleblower, whose awareness of the danger he is in only furthers the thriller-like feel of the documentary. While the film loses some urgency in its final third, it's a thrilling, shocking snapshot of a moment in time that will live in history, a reminder of the very real threat that those in power can pose to the citizens they have sworn to protect.

Summary

Premiere. Laura Poitras' Oscar-winning documentary follows her meetings with whistleblower Edward Snowden, as he reveals evidence of a massive campaign of illegal surveillance carried out on US citizens by the country's National Security Agency. When the story goes public, they find themselves at the centre of a media storm and facing decisions that would have a huge impact on their lives.

Cast & Crew

Edward Snowden Edward Snowden
Glenn Greenwald Glenn Greenwald
Director Laura Poitras

Other Information

Language: English, Portuguese, German +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Artificial EyeGuidance: Swearing.Available on: DVDReleased on: 31 Oct 2014
Documentary