Friday, October 17, 2014


The film on Edward Snowden premiered last week at the New York Film Festival.

Eric Kohn writing at Indiewire:
Laura Poitras' documentary on the NSA whistleblower tells you everything you already knew while hinting at a fascinating new chapter.

"I am not the story," says Edward Snowden to documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald in "CITIZENFOUR," but like Snowden himself, there's nothing simple about that statement.

Poitras' bracing look at the former National Security Agency contractor, whose intel about government surveillance launched a firestorm of global inquiries following his exodus from the country in 2012, gives us everything we already knew about Snowden and his findings in a tightly-wound package — while hinting at a fascinating bigger picture filled with new information......

........With Snowden still in Russia and the media continually sifting through the massive amounts of data he made public, "CITIZENFOUR" can't possibly end on a clean, efficient note. But Poitras nevertheless finds her way to startling climax: Jotting notes on paper to avoid digital surveillance, Greenwald shares with Snowden information from a new whistleblower alleging that the NSA keeps a whopping 1.2 million people on its watch list, while also suggesting that Germany and the U.K. possess control over U.S. drones in the Middle East. "Holy shit" is all that Snowden can muster.

No longer the sole driving entity of his mission, he's now a piece of a larger, formidable initiative. As "CITIZENFOUR" closes on the images of torn paper, Poitras implies that somebody — or many somebodies — need to pick up the pieces. The movie effectively steers the story away from its elusive subject to hint at a broader narrative only just beginning. ........

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