In January 2013, filmmaker Laura Poitras received encrypted e-mails from an unidentified sender who referred to himself as CITIZENFOUR and claimed to have proof of illegal covert programs of mass surveillance being conducted by the NSA and other American intelligence agencies. In June 2013, Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong to meet their mystery contact, who turned out to be Edward Snowden. CITIZENFOUR is a real-life thriller in which these dramatic events unfold by the minute right before our eyes, the breathtakingly exciting account of the courageous step taken by a young whistleblower—urgent, disturbing, politically explosive. Poitras had already been working on a film about surveillance for two years when, in January 2013, she was contacted by Snowden using the name CITIZENFOUR. He reached out to her because he knew she had long been a target of government surveillance, had been stopped at airports numerous times, and refused to be intimidated. When Snowden revealed he was a high-level analyst driven to expose the massive surveillance of Americans by the NSA, Poitras persuaded him to let her film.
Laura Poitras is a documentary filmmaker, journalist and artist. Her work has been singled out for recognition with many important honors worldwide— among them, a Peabody Award as well as Oscar and Emmy nominations. Poitras’ NSA reportage based on the documents made public by Edward Snowden garnered her the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service bestowed by the Guardian and the Washington Post.
Courtesy of Polyfilm
Directed, filmed, produced by LAURA POITRAS
Edited and produced by MATHILDE BONNEFOY
Produced by DIRK WILUTZKY
With: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill,
William Binney, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeremy Scahill et al.