Edward Snowden is the subject of a monumental, one-of-a-kind documentary by Laura Poitras entitled Citizen Four which had its trailer released just before the documentary became viewable at the New York Film Festival Friday. Snowden, better known by many in the American public as the “Whistleblower” because of his disclosure of National Security Agency public surveillance tactics and uses to journalists. Edward Snowden is alive and well, living a life that is “fulfilling and rewarding,” and is joined now in Moscow, Russia by his long-time girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, according to reports.
Citizen Four director Laura Poitras had already been in the midst of putting together a documentary about the extreme rise and expansion of governmental surveillance in the post 9/11 era, when she received contact from Edward Snowden under the name “Citizen Four.” Poitras knew just what to do after receiving the contact, which was to create a documentary. Her most recent documentary comes follows up recent success where she had a project in 2012 that won a MacAuthur “Genius Grant.” Citizen Four was largely filmed in Hong Kong where Poitras met with Edward Snowden to discuss the details about the surveillance and information gathering practices that he made public about the NSA, other intelligence agencies, and even some major companies.
The world premier of the documentary starring Edward Snowden debuted shortly after news had surfaced that a 17 year-old from Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai, had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work promoting both women’s rights and rights of children to education. Yousafzai is now the youngest person to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize. Many feel Edward Snowden should have been awarded the acknowledgement for his role in opening a dialogue between government and citizens concerning surveillance and privacy.
A recent poll asked readers who the rightful winner of the Nobel Peace Prize should be. Yousafzai won a large 36% vote, but America’s Whistleblower Edward Snowden got a 47% vote. If The Guardian was in charge of awarding the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, Edward Snowden would have the award today, but some feel that the Norwegian Nobel Committee has certain political obligations that would anger many who consider Edward Snowden a traitor of the U.S. and some of Norway’s closest allies.
People searching for content about Whistleblower Edward Snowden such as interviews and videos have reported that content at times has been “blacked out” by major media outlets including YouTube and Facebook. It is known by many that Snowden has warned that in the name of privacy, people should “get rid of” Drop Box, and avoid Facebook and Google. Edward Snowden’s documentary will allow Americans to see his perspective and an explanation as to why he felt it necessary to disclose the information entrusted as a private contractor. Citizen Four looks open and change the conversation about user’s rights, privacy, and government surveillance.
The release of the Citizen Four documentary trailer interestingly starts with a female, presumably reading a letter that Edward Snowden wrote to a journalist asking to make sure that the files and proofs he sent about the over-extended surveillance of the NSA and other intelligence organizations would make it to the American people. Through the voice of the female reader, Snowden notes that there is information gathered by “every border you cross, every purchase you make, every call you dial,” and gives several other warnings. He also warns the American public that the information being taken by governmental surveillance and the companies or agencies that aid them goes into the hands of a “system whose reach is unlimited, but whose safeguards are not.” Citizen Four will be in theaters Friday Oct. 24.
By LaBaron Jackson