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2014’s Academy Award winning documentary CITIZENFOUR is a real life international thriller that unfolds by the minute. With unprecedented access, this gripping behind-the-scenes chronicle follows award winning director Laura Poitras (My Country, My Country) and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s remarkable encounters with whistle-blower Edward Snowden in a hotel room in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents that provide evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA). The documentary not only shows the dangers of governmental surveillance, but makes audiences feel them. After seeing the film, viewers will never think the same way about their phone, e-mail, credit cards, web browser or digital footprint again.
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Our family all came to the conclusion that Snowden is a patriot / whistle blower. If you haven’t researched Snowden, you should. He was protecting our freedoms, and is now stuck in Russia because the US revoked his passport. His efforts caused Congress shut down a program doing bulk collection of information on US citizens (and others); a federal judge said the NSA phone surveillance program is unconstitutional, etc. Well, it's a long list...
Pretty world-shattering things...
Exactly what motivated Snowden and why he did this, knowing the consequences, has never before been completely explained.The responses from the US government, while not being exactly lies, have been misleading and incomplete.
What is sure is that most people, including the officials that held hearings on this have only a vestigial understanding of what metadata is and how it can be used. Every American should view this video to see more clearly both sides of this issue in order to make a fully informed judgement.
In spite of the government's accusations, Snowden was very careful that he did not release any information that would compromise any agent or reveal information on US government surveillance except reveal that it was being done. He gave this information to American journalists, not any foreign country and not for any benefit to himself. The tragedy is that while the US government says that he will receive fair due process of law if he comes to the US, the crimes he is charged with are under a law from world war I, long before today's electronic data communication. This law was intended for spies acting for foreign countries and presumes Snowden is such a spy. There is no legal defense against this law, even if the actions of the government he released are judged to be illegal.
Persons buying this video should make sure that it is rated for their region. Region 0 is nowhere and wilt not play on any DVD machine.
Benjamin Franklin said, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Perhaps it is because I immersed myself in an isolated environment with laptop with headphones that I found the slow pacing and long silences to be so tense. The words left unsaid often seemed more sinister than those articulated. And despite Snowden wanting to come forward, I could really begin to feel his terror as the comfort of his anonymity and in-charge interviews gave way to the encroaching "oh crap" moments as he began preparing for the next steps.
The brief scene of him staring out the hotel window was chilling in its simplicity. It reminded me of films where prisoners of war are dragged outside to the firing squad and the prisoner looks up at the sky, knowing it will be the last time. Ever. When the Chinese human rights lawyer said they didn't have a car, and Snowden made eye contact with the filmmaker, I could almost feel his stomach plummet. I enjoy horror movies, but this quiet documentary really disturbed me.