Citizenfour. 2014. USA. Directed by Laura Poitras. DCP. 114 min.
Citizenfour is the third in award-winning American filmmaker Laura Poitras’s trilogy of films investigating the impact of America’s War on Terror following the September 11 attacks. The film’s opening scenes depict Poitras's initial January 2013 email contact with National Security Agency (NSA) analyst Edward Snowden (using the email handle Citizenfour), who had released information on the agency’s massive surveillance of Americans. Once they gained each other’s trust, Snowden agreed to let Poitras film his meetings with journalist Glenn Greenwald in Hong Kong, where Snowden provided classified documents as evidence of the indiscriminate and widespread NSA surveillance of personal phones, email accounts, credit cards, and Web browsers. Citizenfour unfolds as a suspenseful mystery, from Snowden’s initial reasoning to his current exile in Russia.