M/12 | 1h 54min | Documentary, Biography | 2014
Citizenfour is a 2014 documentary film directed by Laura Poitras, concerning Edward Snowden and the NSA spying scandal.
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. The film features Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, and was co-produced by Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, and Dirk Wilutzky, with Steven Soderbergh and others serving as executive producers. 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.
In January 2013, Laura Poitras, an American documentary film director/producer who had been working for several years on a film about monitoring programs in the US that were the result of the September 11 attacks, receives an encrypted e-mail from a stranger who calls himself, “Citizenfour.” In it, he offers her inside information about illegal wiretappingpractices of the US National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence agencies. In June 2013, accompanied by investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian intelligence reporter Ewen MacAskill, she travels to Hong Kong with her camera for the first meeting with the stranger in a hotel, who reveals himself as Edward Snowden. Scenes of their meeting take place in Snowden’s hotel room, where he maintains his privacy. Shots of Snowden in his bed, in front of his mirror and of the hotel from a distance form the character of Snowden as a trapped political agent.
More info on official website: citizenfourfilm.com
After four days of interviews, on June 9, Snowden’s identity is made public at his request. As media outlets begin to discover his location at The Mira Hong Kong, Snowden relocates to Poitras’ room in an attempt to elude phone calls made to his room. Facing potential extradition and prosecution in the United States, Snowden schedules a meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and applies for refugee status. After Poitras believes she is being followed, she leaves Hong Kong for Berlin.