Laura Poitras had already been working on a film about surveillance for two years when Snowden contacted her, using the name “CITIZENFOUR,” in January 2013. She was first contacted by Snowden after he was unable to establish encrypted communications with Greenwald and because he knew she had long been a target of government surveillance, stopped at airports numerous times, and had refused to be intimidated.
When Snowden revealed he was a high-level analyst driven to expose the massive surveillance of Americans by the NSA, Poitras persuaded him to let her fly to Hong Kong in late May 2013 to film him. Over the course of eight days she filmed Snowden in his hotel room at the Mira Hotel.
This documentary places you in the room with Poitras, Greenwald, and Snowden as they attempt to manage the media storm raging outside, forced to make quick decisions that will impact their lives and all of those around them.
Citizenfour not only shows you the dangers of governmental surveillance, it makes you feel them. After seeing the film, you will never think the same way about your phone, email, credit card, web browser, or profile, ever again.
The film had its US premiere on October 10, 2014, at the New York Film Festival and its UK premiere on October 17, 2014, at the BFI London Film Festival.
Citizenfour received critical acclaim upon release, and was the recipient of numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2015 Oscars & Best Documentary at the BAFTA Awards.
This film is the third part to a 9/11 trilogy following My Country, My Country (2006) and The Oath (2010). http://www.praxisfilms.org/films/
Movie’s impact! – On Sept. 18, 2018, it was ruled by the European Court of Human Rights that the U.K. spy agency’s bulk collection of telecom data violated the European Convention on Human Rights. The Strasburg-based court ruled 5-2 that the practice “failed to safeguard rights to privacy guaranteed under the human rights convention”. The complaint was brought on by ten groups including the ACLU, Privacy International, Amnesty International and other civil liberties groups around the world.
Edward Snowden – Born on June 21, 1983 in North Carolina, USA. He first became involved with the United States government upon his enrollment in the Army Reserves in the spring of 2004. Snowden claims to have left the program after a few months because he broke his legs in a training accident while a US House of Representatives report claims he had shin splints. He then began working for the CIA in 2006 and was stationed with diplomatic cover at the embassy in Geneva, Switzerland in 2007. After nearly three years with the agency, Snowden resigned his position in February 2009 in order to begin working for a contractor with Dell for the NSA.
It was at this point in his career that Snowden could sense that his views were changing; “I watched as Obama advanced the very policies that I thought would be reigned in … [The NSA] are intent on making every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them”.
In 2012, Snowden was reassigned from Yokota base in Japan to the Kunia Operations Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, working for Dell before serving as a consultant to Booz Allen Hamilton. As an “infrastructure analyst” at the National Threat Operations Center, he monitored internet communication. In his own words, the longer he continued to work for the NSA, the more he “worked in secret to resist” his own feelings regarding the various programs in place at the agency.
He had served at the Hawaiian base for approximately 15 months prior to leaving the United States and leaking thousands of classified documents. In 2020 Snowden is still living in exile in Russia and conducted two interviews, one with NPR’s Fresh Air segment and one with WIRED Magazine prior to the release of his autobiography Permanent Record on September 17, 2019.