CITIZENFOUR Trailer: Revealing Documentary Provides First-Person Account of the Edward Snowden Leak

     October 11, 2014


Radius-TWC and Participant Media have released the first Citizenfour trailer for director Laura Poitras’ (The Oath) documentary about Edward Snowden and the NSA leak.  I honestly wasn’t aware of this film’s existence before today, but it looks to be an absolutely riveting and revealing look at the events that lead to Snowden leaking confidential NSA documents.  Poirtras was contacted anonymously by Snowden in January 2013 about the files he was about to leak, giving her unprecedented access to what exactly went down.  The film debuted at the New York Film Festival last night to highly positive reviews, with THR calling it “revelatory”, Indiewire describing it as “bracing”, and The Guardian going so far as to say it’s a “victorious film [that] shows Snowden vindicated.”  Moreover, the pic apparently offers shocking new details about how high up the chain the spying program actually goes.  I’m incredibly curious to check this one out myself, and this first trailer does a fantastic job of teasing without revealing.

Watch the first Citizenfour trailer after the jump.  Executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, the film is slated to open in theaters on October 24th.

Here’s the official synopsis for Citizenfour:

CITIZENFOUR is the never before seen, utterly riveting first-person look at how director Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald first met with whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong where he gave them documents showing widespread abuses of power by the National Security Administration.  It is an unprecedented fly-on-the-wall account of one of the most groundbreaking moments in recent history.

In January 2013, Poitras (recipient of the 2012 MacArthur Genius Fellowship and co-recipient of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service) was several years into making a film about surveillance in the post-9/11 era when she started receiving encrypted e-mails from someone identifying himself as “citizen four,” who was ready to blow the whistle on the massive covert surveillance programs run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies.  In June 2013, she and Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The film that resulted from this series of tense encounters is absolutely sui generis in the history of cinema: a 100% real-life thriller unfolding minute by minute before our eyes.


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