Deciding whether it is ethical to expose top-secret governmental information to the American people is a concept that most American-citizens will never experience. Edward Snowden is not one of those people. The unveiling of "Citizenfour", a 114-minuet documentary shot by Laura Poitras, can provide a grasp of what it was like to be in Swoden's as he chose to become a whistleblower on NSA operations.
The film begins with a series of encrypted messages sent from a sender identifying themself as 'citizenfour.' A series of background information on the NSA— including interviews with activists on metadata, and James Clapper the Director of National Intelligence testifying before congress claiming the NSA does not engage in spying on American citizens— follows. Poitras finally meets the man behind the encrypted messages in a Hong Kong hotel room over a eight day span with Journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill of the Guardian. Thrilling, and 100-percent real-life, the film depicts the step-by-step decision-making process of Snowden as he voluntarily exposes the largest scandal of the generation. Days of questioning, waiting, confirming, and watching the world’s reactions is masterfully crafted by Poitras recordings.
Prior to Poitras' work in "Citizenfour", she is acclaimed as the recipient of the 2012 MacArthur Genus Fellowship, and co-recipient of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The foreign-affairs investigative journalist is commemorated for the Oscar-nominated documentary, “My Country My Country", as well as directing the 12-minuet video that went viral in June 2012, transforming Snowden into a stature of American democracy.
"Citizenfour" first premiered at the New York Film Festival in October. The film makes the Hudson Valley debut on November 14, continuing the showings through the 20th, at Upstate Films in Woodstock. A special viewing on the show with Michael Ratner, the president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and attorney in the US for Julian Assange and Wikileaks is presented on November 15 at 2pm. Viewers can also catch the film at The Moviehouse in Millerton on November 14-20.
To learn more about "Citizenfour" please visit citizenfourfilm.com. To learn more about Upstate Films in Woodstock and their show-times please visit their website at upstatefilms.org. To learn more about The Moviehouse in Millerton and their show-times please visit themoviehouse.net.