CITIZENFOUR: 2015 Oscar-winning docufilm on Edward Snowden at #ijf15

(Edward Snowden – Courtesy of PRAXIS FILMS)

A priceless document of one of the most important stories of recent years. It is January 2013 when Edward Snowden, a former CIA officer, gets in touch with the filmmaker Laura Poitras with the name of CITIZENFOUR. Her daily life, he warns her, will never be the same. Her communications will be intercepted, her movements tracked constantly.

Trusting in his story in terms of civil rights and digital surveillance, Snowden asks Poitras to trust him. He has confidential information on invasive intelligence programs that he intends to make public for the common good, at the cost of devastating forever his private life and risking arrest. Laura Poitras, who had already been working for two years on a film about surveillance, convinced Snowden to be filmed, so capturing the days in which the “Datagate” bomb explodes, letting the protagonists recount it on their own.

CITIZENFOUR, the film that won the 2015 Oscar for best documentary, takes the viewer directly into the hotel room in Hong Kong in which Edward Snowden met Laura Poitras and the former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald to show them the evidence of the existence of an indiscriminate mass surveillance structure built by the National Security Agency (NSA), capable of invading the privacy of everyone, surpassing both state and legality boundaries.

(Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald in Hong Kong – Courtesy of PRAXIS FILMS)

In the hotel room Snowden explains how the system works. In the same room the three coordinate their strategy under the eyes of the camera, forced to face the fury of the media and to think about how to manage, step by step, a story so disruptive as to mark their lives and the lives of those who stands beside them, forever.

It makes a strong impact that involves the audience. CITIZENFOUR is not only the compelling chronicle of the days which lead up to the unveiling of one of the biggest scandals of the decade. It is also the evidence of how mass surveillance can be so close, with shocking proximity. Something tangible, from telephone cables to MicroSD cards, which will push us to think of online, radio and analog communications in a totally different perspective.

In association with Biografilm Festival – International Celebration of Lives (whose theme for this year’s edition is CONNECTED LIVES – FROM THE END OF PRIVACY TO COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE), the International Journalism Festival is pleased to announce that CITIZENFOUR will be screened on Saturday 18 April at 22.30 in the Sala dei Notari. CITIZENFOUR will be released on 16 April and is distributed in Italy by I Wonder Pictures and Unipol Biografilm Collection.