Review of 'CitizenFour'

citizenfour.jpg CitizenFour tells the story of Edward Snowden a contractor working for the NSA after he contacts the director (Laura Poitras) as “CitizenFour” determined to release the information he has gathered on the wide-scale (illegal) monitoring of the NSA of Americans. The film begins in a hotel room in Hong Kong as Snowden discusses with reporters Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill how exactly the material he gathered can be released. As the material is released and the world reacts Snowden reflects on his actions and prepares for the future that awaits him.

Amazing first-hand account of the biggest news events of the decade. Listening to Snowden explains the reasons for his actions and believing that he understands the implication of what he has done (though perhaps underestimating the impact) is an incredible insight.

The actual filming of all of this is the biggest scoop that Poitras likely has ever had. Framed as the third in a series of films by Poitras that are a response to 9/11, here we see the echoes of this event in the overreaction of the American government in tacitly authorizing the NSA's actions in seeking to respond to the hideous events of that day.

Certainly I have to say I learned a lot about the unfolding of this astounding story. The story is told in a relaxed on considered way giving the viewer time to absorb the enormity of what is happening. We live the moment with the camera focused on Snowden simply telling his story. The excerpts from various news agencies show the impact as the news shakes the world. Something I am quite sure I will not forget in a hurry…A story that must be told and lessons must be learned.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2014-11-23

Directed by: Laura Poitras

Studio: Praxis Films

Year: 2014

Length: 114 minutes

Genre: Documentary