Oliver Stone travelled to Russia to interview Edward Snowden about what led to him to becoming a whistleblower. and the film ‘Snowden’ is a faithful dramatised account of the events and pivotal moments that led him to the point of no return, where he felt he had no option but to risk everything for his country and the world.
This film is a MUST watch! You can watch it HERE with subtitles
OR to live stream or purchase the movie ‘Snowden’ by Oliver Stone, click HERE!
It is interesting to also watch these two other important films, namely ‘Citizenfour’ and ‘Terminal F’ in which more parts of the story are filled in.
This important documentary released in 2015 gives us an insight into the incredible tensions that Edward Snowdon, Glen Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Ewen MacAskill and Sarah Harrison lived through.
‘Citizenfour’ film by Laura Poitras
The film had its US premiere on October 10, 2014, at the New York Film Festival and its UK premiere on October 17, 2014, at the BFI London Film Festival. The film features Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, and was co-produced by Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, and Dirk Wilutzky, with Steven Soderbergh and others serving as executive producers. Citizenfour received critical acclaim upon release, and was the recipient of numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2015 Oscars.
The making of ‘Citizenfour’
In January 2013, Laura Poitras, an American documentary film director/producer who had been working for several years on a film about monitoring programs in the US that were the result of the September 11 attacks, receives an encrypted e-mail from a stranger who calls himself, “Citizenfour.” In it, he offers her inside information about illegal wiretapping practices of the US National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence agencies. In June 2013, accompanied by investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian intelligence reporter Ewen MacAskill, she travels to Hong Kong with her camera for the first meeting with the stranger in a hotel, who reveals himself as Edward Snowden. Scenes of their meeting take place in Snowden’s hotel room, where he maintains his privacy. Shots of Snowden in his bed, in front of his mirror and of the hotel from a distance form the character of Snowden as a trapped political agent.
After four days of interviews, on June 9, Snowden’s identity is made public at his request. As media outlets begin to discover his location at The Mira Hong Kong, Snowden relocates to Poitras’ room in an attempt to elude phone calls made to his room. Facing potential extradition and prosecution in the United States, Snowden schedules a meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and applies for refugee status. After Poitras believes she is being followed, she leaves Hong Kong for Berlin.
On June 21, the US government requests the Hong Kong government extradite Snowden. Snowden manages to depart from Hong Kong, but his US passport is cancelled before he can connect to Havana, stranding him in the Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow. On August 1, 2013, the Russian government grants Snowden temporary asylum for a period of one year. Meanwhile, Greenwald returns to his home in Rio de Janeiro and speaks publicly about United States’ utilization of NSA programs for foreign surveillance. Greenwald and Poitras maintain a correspondence wherein they both express reluctance to return to the United States.
Throughout, the film offers smaller vignettes that precede and follow Snowden’s Hong Kong interviews, including William Binney speaking about NSA programs, and eventually testifying before the German Parliament regarding NSA spying in Germany.
The film closes with Greenwald, Snowden and Poitras meeting once again, this time in Russia. Greenwald and Snowden discuss new emerging details on US intelligence programs, careful to only write down and not speak critical pieces of information. Greenwald tears these documents creating a pile of scraps, before slowly removing them from the table.
Oliver Stone being interviewed at Harvard about Edward Snowden