The Film Society at Lincoln Center has announced that on October 10, journalist and filmmaker Laura Poitras’ documentary on Edward Snowden will be shown at Alice Tully Hall at 6 p.m. as part of the New York Film Festival. CITIZENFOUR is the third in Poitras’ trilogy about how America and the world have changed since 9/11 and will detail her interactions with Snowden, the man who released confidential security documents from the NSA and fled the country.Poitras was already making a film about the surveillance methods in the United States when Snowden contacted her online, wanting to share his story to the world. With two award-winning nonfiction films already released in the past few years, entitled My Country, My Country on the Iraq War and The Oath about Guantanamo, Poitras is no stranger to released hot-button films. Partnering with Glenn Greenwald, author of No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, The NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, Poitras exchanged encrypted Internet messages with Snowden before meeting him in Hong Kong, the material exchanged there released to the world and erupted in a media and political firestorm in 2013. Her work has landed her film accolades, a MacArthur Fellowship in 2012, and helped her win a Pulitzer. During her reporting on the subjects, Poitras found herself being targeted as a national security risk, her struggles to get the story and keep her sources safe informing her work in this newest film.
Dramatized films about the Edward Snowden story are also in the works. Joseph Gordon-Levitt seems to be the choice to play Snowden in Oliver Stone’s movie, covered by mxdwn Movies here, and Sony has retained the film rights to Greenwald’s book for another movie. But Poitras’ film may be the authoritative voice in the coverage of Snowden, as it has been reported by Brian Brooks that the film itself is a mix of real-life interviews with the man and the tense journey through Hong Kong to get the surveillance information.
The film will be released by RADiUS, in association with HBO Documentary Films and Participant Media, in the United States on October 24, 2014.