Fri 31 Oct 2014
by Becky Mulvaney
CITIZENFOUR, Laura Poitras’ gripping documentary about whilstleblower Edward Snowden, is released UK wide this Fri 31 Oct.
It is by far the most unsettling piece of cinema on offer this Halloween, presenting a world in which we are being watched, not by supernatural horrors, but by an omnipresent surveillance state intent on probing and storing our private phonecalls, emails, internet searches and social media interactions without our consent, or knowledge.
Unfolding over the time Poitras, Snowden and journalist Glen Greenwald spent together boxed inside a hotel room in Hong Kong, CITIZENFOUR peels away the facade that our government values the privacy of its citizens and humanises the tremendous personal sacrifice that Snowden made to bring us one of the biggest leaks of classified information in modern history.
For an insight into the six months of covert planning and encrypted communications which preempted this meeting and the making of this phenomenal film, take a look at the anonymous emails Snowden first sent to introduce himself as a “senior government employee” intent on exposing NSA secrets to the world, which have been published online by WIRED.
Harrowing as its content might be, Poitras’ intimate and stirring documentary feels more like a call to action than a missive of doom, challenging a new wave of whistleblowers, filmmakers, artists, activists, technologists and investigative journalists to step forward and prove that our politicians can be held to account and that we are determined to claim our lives as our own.
So join us this Halloween at CITIZENFOUR screenings across the UK and for the premiere of Circles at ICA on Fri 31 Oct, a new artwork by artist Trevor Paglen commissioned by AND alongside BRITDOC, which features Britian’s GCHQ as its focal point. Don’t worry about your costume, we’ve got that covered.