By Russell Lawrence

CitizenFour is a shocking realization of the leak of America’s most terrifying scandal to date. What makes it so terrifying is the unveiling of the issue in real time as we see the documenter and the reporter who met Edward Snowden and worked with him to release his information about the NSA.

What’s more, the film masterfully captures the fear of everyone who is involved in the information leak. Snowden intends from the very beginning to come forward so he will not incriminate anyone else. Quickly however, the filmmakers and journalists he communicates with realize they are all in danger.

citizenfourstill from CitizenFour (2014)

After the information is leaked the documentary follows all the of the players in the leak in the moments after the world is enlightened. The documentors are listed as enemies of the US, and America really feels like the bad guys in the film.

Laura calls this her third film in a series against the power of America. She makes it a point that the NSA is not a passive organization collecting data. With her visual style and way of showing dialogue through real text appearing on the screen as she is in contact with Snowden, we understand the severity of everything the American government does. We are not safe, we are not being watched, we are being controlled.

citizenfour2still from CitizenFour (2014)

Lawmakers and government officials don’t feel like elected individuals in this stark realization of a film. Instead they feel like powerful heads that are scrambling to re paint the picture that Snowden has revealed to us. Laura constantly travels as the news unfolds, and documents UK reporters destroying their data files on the NSA after being pressured by the US Government. She worries for her partner that is reporting for Snowden. They begin encrypting all of their files and we’re visually seeing that encryption in the film.

We realize that the government isn’t helping us, they’re stopping us from understanding what’s really going on.

CitizenFour isn’t a film. It’s our reality.

It’s also certified fresh!


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3 Responses to CitzenFour

  1. mediaphiles says:

    The film was very insightful and made people more aware of the Snowden story. Really interesting and thoughtful. I recommend it to everyone.
    -Jordan Hansgen

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I had no idea that there was also a Snowden documentary! Thanks for sharing.
    -Katherine Naylor

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I loved this film! I always wanted to learn more about Snowden and his journey through such a difficult situation. The visual elements that are used throughout the film are outstanding. It underlines the importance of why this situation is so delicate, but also very intricate due to their extensive planning. The film really makes you think about whose hands your personal information is in.

    -Shelby Halliman

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