The winner of the Best Documentary Oscar, CITIZENFOUR is a real-life thriller, giving audiences unprecedented access to filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s encounters with Edward Snowden.
This real-life thriller gives audiences unprecedented access to filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s encounters with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the NSA.
Poitras had already been working on a film about surveillance for two years when Snowden contacted her, using the name 'CITIZENFOUR’, in January 2013. He reached out to her 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 film.
The hugely acclaimed 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 again think the same way about your phone, email, credit card, web browser or profile.
Laura Poitras is a documentary filmmaker, journalist and artist. Praxis Films is her production company.
CITIZENFOUR is part of a trilogy of films about post-9/11 America. The first film, My Country, My Country, focused on the Iraq War and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2007. The second, The Oath, was about Guantanamo, and it won a cinematography award at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
Poitras’ films have premiered at festivals worldwide and have received honours including a Peabody Award and Emmy nominations. She has taught filmmaking at Duke and Yale Universities. Her work was selected for the 2012 Whitney Biennial. She is the recipient of a 2012 MacArthur Fellowship.
Poitras’ NSA reporting contributed to a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service awarded to the Guardian and Washington Post.
Along with Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill, she is a co-founder editor of The Intercept, the online news journalism platform. She currently lives in Berlin.
Edward Snowden: Himself
Laura Poitras: Director
Mathilde Bonnefoy: Editor
2015 Oscar winner for Best Documentary Feature
2015 BAFTA winner for Documentary