Review by Clay Bloodworth
The most important film you will see all year – or possibly ever – is Citizenfour. This is the single-most groundbreaking documentary I’ve ever laid eyes on, surpassing some of Michael Moore’s greatest works. The amount of people that will be affected due to the information in this film is staggering. Every American owes it to themselves to see this. It will undoubtedly change the way you operate and think in more ways than one.
As you may already know, the film centers around Edward Snowden, the much-talked about whistle-blower who leaked an enormous amount of top secret information concerning the National Security Agency. It revealed the many ways that the NSA was spying on billions of people, creating a huge political conversation.
However, Citizenfour in no way participates in that conversation. It doesn’t try to debate whether it was right or wrong for them to do that; it leaves all of that up to its subject. That’s one of the countless reasons why it succeeds. It isn’t a documentary that needs a ton of flare. It’s actually quite the opposite. It states the facts and lets us decide how we feel about it, and all in the most simplistic and brilliant manner.
The majority of it takes place in one hotel room where Laura Poitras (the director of the film) and Glenn Greenwald (the first journalist to leak the story) listen to everything Snowden has to say. We watch them go over the program files and documents that serve as the evidence of what the NSA has done — with scenes that include astounding stats and figures; those being some of the most powerful moments I’ve ever witnessed. It’s a gut-punch of a movie, but one that’s undeniably needed. Don’t miss this.