Insider portrait documentary on Edward Snowden, filmed as the 29-year-old blew the whistle on mass surveillance by the United States and four allied Governments - including our own - in 2013. Winner of Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards and the BAFTAs.
Initially contacting director Laura Poitras anonymously, having learned about her work as she herself was being spied on by the U.S., Snowden lets her into a tiny circle of individuals ahead of his leak. Traveling to Hong Kong in 2013, Poitras' cameras are rolling on Snowden and Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald as the first news stories are published and the West's public, intelligence agencies and politicians hit the roof - for very different reasons. Offering unique, behind-the-scenes insight into a massive spying scandal, Citizenfour also lends a human dimension to a brave young man who found himself one of the most wanted men in the world for living up to the courage of his convictions.
This marks Poitras' third instalment of a self-styled "trilogy about America post-9/11." It follows the Oscar nominated My Country, My Country (2006) - about Iraq under U.S. occupation - and The Oath (2010) - focused on Yemenis at Guantanamo Bay.
Best Documentary at the 2015 Academy Awards and BAFTA Awards
2014Rating: M, Offensive language114 minsGermany, USA
Many of the best documentaries feature events that seemingly happen by accident, narratives that appear to unfold in manners that surprise audiences and filmmakers alike. While Citizenfour is a captivating and unmissable portrait of leaker Edward Snowden, one of its many interesting facets is how unlike the unpredictable doco model it turns out to be while still proving utterly engrossing from start to finish.