Programmed by Fabien David
Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature - 2015
In January 2013, filmmaker Laura Poitras was several years into the making of a film about abuses of national security in post-9/11 America 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 reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The film that resulted from this series of tense encounters is absolutely unique in the history of cinema: a 100% real-life thriller unfolding minute by minute before our eyes.
This is a spy film like none you’ve ever seen, a story that neither John Le Carré nor Ian Fleming ever dreamed of. Most of it takes place in a hotel room in Hong Kong, between four walls and four characters. Especially in that this film, whose “plot” is far-fetched and whose action, despite being narrow is nonetheless exciting, is mostly a documentary shot in real time… We witness Edward Snowden’s revelations and their media repercussions in the course of a single movie. This isn’t a film about Snowden but with him and its making constitutes an essential and strategic element of the process of revelations that the journalist Glenn Greenwald published from June 2013. Edward Snowden is not the hero, he’s the source – in other words, to borrow Guy Debord's definition (whose theories the film seems to validate), he’s an “adventurer” for our times.
Programmer of Cinéma Le Bourguet in Forcalquier