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Snowden Documentary, Citizenfour, Nominated for Best Documentary Oscar

Snowden Documentary, Citizenfour, Nominated for Best Documentary Oscar

by Clay Michael GillespieJanuary 18, 2015

In the recent years, documentaries have been making a big impact on the topics of discussion we have in our daily life. Last year, Blackfish made headlines for highlighting the mistreatment of Orca whales, also known as “killer whales,” at SeaWorld. This year, it looks like the Edward Snowden documentary called Citizenfour, directed by Laura Poitras, might just be the next movie driving discussion. The Academy Awards lineup was released, and Citizenfour is nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary category.

“This is a film that got made because a lot of people took a lot of risks,” Poitras told Variety. “This is a celebration of that.”

The film shows how Snowden originally spoke to Poitras, then with journalist Glenn Greenwald, through secure encrypted channels while he was working closely with the NSA. The movie is set in Hong Kong, when Snowden invited both Greenwald and Poitras to visit him and review the NSA documents. Afterward, he flew to Russia and was charged with espionage by the United States government.

Also read: Edward Snowden Calls Amazon “Morally Irresponsible” For Not Encrypting User Data

Support from Snowden Colleagues

CitizenfourGreenwald, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who originally broke the Snowden story, congratulated Poitras over Twitter following the announcement.

Greenwald is featured in the film working with Snowden while reviewing the plethora of classified documents Snowden leaked.

“You know the public response, and in the press, has been pretty extraordinary for us,” Poitras told the New York Times. “We didn’t know what to expect. We made a film that was unknown outside of a very small circle, and there was a lot of uncertainties. It’s been pretty incredible to see this happen.”

The amount of incriminating and disturbing evidence found in the documents Snowden leaked are growing nearly every day. Skype is compromised, and many people are beginning to try to safeguard themselves from the NSA. Channels like Tor are considered safe by some, compromised by others, and even encrypted messaging apps like Telegram are finding holes in their platform.

Snowden Greenwald

World governments are still trying to close in on citizen communications and activists like Kim Dotcom are developing tools to keep private communications a secret. The next few years will be interesting, and many people are excited that the Academy decided to highlight a film that tackles such a controversial topic.

Images from Laura Poitras.

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  • Grow Well

    The Snowden story is suspect! Glenn Greenwald is suspect! Omidyar is suspect!

    Worth watching!
    Secrets For Sale? The Greenwald/Omidyar/NSA connection.

    Of the many intriguing aspects of the Snowden story, by far one of the most frustrating is that, other than a few interviews and press conferences, almost everything we know about Snowden, his motivations, and the documents themselves come from intermediaries who have found themselves in the position of spokespeople on the case. Even such basic questions as how many documents Snowden leaked is still unclear, with various sources listing anything from 10,000 to 1.7 million documents. If details as basic as these vary so widely between sources, how much more opaque are the more difficult questions of Snowden’s motivations and intentions, let alone the specifics of any deals he may have made with journalists about how this data was to be disseminated?

  • Grow Well
  • Government agencies just dont “allow” people to whistleblow, particularly people that work for them, every person is investigated right the way down to what they eat even before they are employed for an organisation like the CIA or NSA.

    People like Edward Snowdon and Julian Assange are pawns in a much greater game. People know they are being surveilled, people know that wars are created by developed countries and governments, this sort of release of “classified information” is an exercise in control analysis.

    How do you make someone comfortable with something? You expose it to them, after a while of not being able to do anything about it they become comfortable with it, even complicit, you can create anything this way, for example systematically releasing news stories about particular subjects that humans find disturbing, those that it interests will eventually become comfortable with it to be able to act and be drawn into a honeypot. There is NOTHING that these organisations will not attempt to control, ultimately if they cannot control you, they will kill you physically, mentally or financially, I can verify that from experience.

    Terrorist organisations do NOT allow people to get away with whistleblowing, how would somebody steal over 1 million documents unnoticed? It’s an exercise in exposure.

    In the words of Fox Mulder, “Trust No-one!”.