Academy Award winning documentary thriller about the meetings of filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald with whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, where he gave them incriminating evidence of large-scale privacy violations by the NSA.
Poitras previously directed the documentaries My Country, My Country and The Oath about the United States after 9/11. She had been working on a new film about alleged eavesdropping by the American government when an informant, calling himself ‘CITIZENFOUR’, contacted her. It turned out to be Edward Snowden. He told her he had classified, incriminating information on espionage, which he intended to reveal to the press. Former CIA agent Snowden was working for the National Security Agency (NSA) at the time. With the help of Poitras and Greenwald, the information was published by The Washington Post and the Guardian. Snowden was subsequently branded as a state enemy in the US and had to go into hiding abroad. The documentary gives a shivering account of how Big Brother is watching us. Poitras, who gave up her life in the United States for a safer existence in Berlin, considers the activities of the NSA to be a ‘direct threat to democracy’.