Citizenfour: Inside the Edward Snowden Release

Hello everybody! For today’s Monday show, we are watching the documentary Citizenfour.



DIRECTOR: Laura Poitras

STARRING: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, William Binney, Jacob Appelbaum, Ewen MacAskill

GENRE: Documentary

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: United States, Germany

In January 2013, Laura Poitras received an encrypted e-mail from a stranger who called himself Citizen Four. In it, 2_citizenfourhe offered her inside information about illegal wiretapping practices of the US National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence agencies. Poitras had already been working for several years on a film about monitoring programs in the US that were the result of the September 11 attacks. In June 2013, accompanied by investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian intelligence reporter Ewen MacAskill, she went to Hong Kong with her camera for the first meeting with the stranger, who identified himself as Edward Snowden. Several other meetings followed. The recordings gained from the meetings form the basis of the film.

p0299p6hLet me state this here first, I wasn’t planning on watching Citizenfour when I first heard about it. It has taken me a while to be able to actually enjoy documentary films, and in the last three months I have really developed a special interest for this type of film especially with the Edward Snowden scandal. Now to a quick analysis of the film. It was interesting to see all of the journalists work with Snowden, as well as his retreat from Hong Kong. The pacing works out quite well, building and building until it climaxes. The film footage itself is quite raw, which adds to the security of the film as a whole. That is what stood out to me the most.

There were very few things I didn’t enjoy about the film. The major part that bothered me is that Snowden tells the journalists that some of the documents are “legitimately classified” and basically just leaves it to the journalists to decide what to publish. What kind of whistle blower does this?


  •  Scandal.
  • Pacing.
  • Raw footage.
  • Brushstrokes of the Snowden release.


  •  Whistle blower logic.

SCORE: 9.0 / 10

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Brandon Stuhr

Who am I? Just some guy who decided to start writing on the Internet years ago and now operates his own brand and site. Owner/Operator of Modern Neon Media, I make all kinds of niche content to suit my interests at the time. DIY Enthusiast, Brewmaster extraordinaire, and avid freak for geek culture. Follow on my socials for a more "on" version of me.

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