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Citizenfour Review: eye opening and poignant

Film: Citizenfour – eye opening and poignant

A reporter and documentarian travel to Honk Kong to uncover and document the claims made by an anonymous source. The source is NSA analyst Edward Snowden and the claim? American intelligence agencies are freely spying on anything and anyone.

Citizenfour is of course the award-winning genesis of Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations. Guided by the hand of Laura Poitras the documentary paints an extremely claustrophobic and paranoid vision of not only Snowden but also western culture itself.

Conversations happen in bits and pieces, notes are shredded, random fire alarms are suspected and coding occurs under a red blanket of mystery. ‘A red blanket of mystery’ may sound like pretentious metaphorical writing but it is actually a blanket used by Snowden to shield his coding from his allies – should they ever be swayed.

Whilst the narrative shifts backwards, forwards and sideways to experts and whistleblowers building a dossier of shame, the camera lingers on menial moments, on familial actions and on facial expressions in a bid to emulate the gross and perverted invasion of privacy demonstrated by the NSA and its international allies.

Citizenfour is an eye opener. It doesn’t force Snowden’s leaks down your throat but instead allows you to analyse his points, absent of bias, and question the world we live in today.

It is poignantly told and artistically engaging; a true example of how art is above the rancid nature of politics and jingoism. The documentary will invade your mind and instigate paranoia. You will question you payments, your oyster beeps and soon realise that privacy is a myth.

Score – A-

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