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Citizenfour

  • Drama
  • Documentary and factual
  • 2014
  • Laura Poitras
  • 113 mins
  • 15

Summary

Documentary in which whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals to film-maker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald how America's National Security Agency has systematically abused privacy laws to keep the public under surveillance. Having already leaked sensitive information regarding the organisation's illegal practices, Snowden knows the net is tightening around him and his own safety is at risk.

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

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.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Edward SnowdenEdward Snowden
Glenn GreenwaldGlenn Greenwald

Crew

rolename
DirectorLaura Poitras

Details

Theatrical distributor
Artificial Eye
Released on
2014-10-31
Languages
English | German | Portuguese
Guidance
Swearing.
Available on
DVD
Formats
Colour
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