Citizen Four | A Documentary Review
9 / 10 Star Rating!
This is a documentary by Laura Poitras on Edward Snowden who at 29 years of age blew the whistle on the USA government and the NSA’s surveillance of its own population and what was described as ‘Indiscriminant and sweeping actions to collect information and knowledge on all American citizens whether or not they are in any way suspicious of anything. Every reasoning the government provides for this large scale surveillance is to “combat terrorism in the interests of national security.
Knowledge is power and the question is, “what is this knowledge being used for, if it is clearly not being used to fight terrorism.
Dictatorships throughout history have been acquiring knowledge and information on their population in order to maintain control over them. “This is the most major threat to democracies all around the world.”
Citizen Four captures the moment in time, largely over an 8-day period when Ed Snowden briefs Laura Poitras and Glen Greenwald for the first time, including the moments before exposing who he is to the world with incredible access to his personal experience, decision making, emotions and journey,
His reasoning for why he decided to do this, was because, the people’s ability to meaningfully oppose state power was fast becoming impossible. He expected it to get better during the Obama administration, however it got worse even though the promises were that it would get better
This surveillance also limits the boundaries of intellectual exploration and he was “more willing to risk imprisonment or any other negative outcome than willing to risk curtailment of intellectual freedom and that of those around me who I care for…” He clarified that this was not entirely self-sacrificing “because I feel good in my human experience to know that I can contribute to others”.
This is a very important documentary to watch in a very important time.