Main Plot Points:
- 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.
What We Thought:
- I wasn’t expecting to like Citizenfour and I ended up being pleasantly surprised.
- I expected it to make Edward Snowden look like a hero and great person. It makes him look paranoid and like a huge egomaniac.
- Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t care if the government is listening to my cell phone calls and everything else they do. I have nothing to hide, I’m not breaking laws. I also live in Boston and went through the Boston Marathon bombing and if spying on people can prevent something like that from happening again, that’s fine with me.
- The synopsis says that audiences will never think the same way about their digital footprint again and that’s not true. If you didn’t already think your information was available, you’re an idiot. I expected this to be even more biased in Snowden’s favor and against the government, but that’s not how I saw it.
- Snowden was definitely paranoid. His contact with his girlfriend had him thinking they were watching his house, but is there any actual proof of that? He would say someone was there or that there was construction going on, but does that actually mean anything? He says they were watching him, but who knows?
- And I liked how the filmmakers questioned him about releasing his name to the public. Snowden said the NSA would surely figure out it was him that leaked the information, but again where’s the proof? The filmmakers thought it would take months if they ever did figure it out, but Snowden’s ego made him think they’d know it was him.
- Maybe I watched it wrong or something, but it’s definitely not the biased documentary I figured it’d be. I’m glad it wasn’t because I enjoyed watching it. I don’t think it’s Oscar worthy and can name 5 other documentaries I’ve watched in the past year or so I enjoyed more, but I still liked it.
- Citizenfour is a solid documentary. Some people might find it eye opening, but if you question most things, most of it is already known. It’s extremely well made, well paced and is an interesting watch.
- Deleted Scenes
- “New York Times” Talk with Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden and David Carr
- Film Society of Lincoln Center Q&A with Laura Poitras and Dennis Lim
- “The Program” – A “New York Times” Op-Doc by Laura Poitras
Notable Cast & Crew:
- Edward Snowden
- Glenn Greenwald
- Executive Producer Steven Soderbergh
Recommended if You Like:
- The Internet’s Own Boy
- We Steal Secrets