Laura Poitras' Snowden documentary 'Citizenfour' opens nationwide this weekend


Executive Director

Director Laura Poitras' new documentary about Edward Snowden and the NSA, entitled CITIZENFOUR, opens in theaters across the United States tomorrow. There are also sneak peek screenings in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Washington DC tonight. You can see where the film is playing near you this weekend by going here.


Besides Edward Snowden, the film features Glenn Greenwald and William Binney, along with Kevin Bankston, Jacob Appelbaum, Ewen MacAskill, Julian Assange, Ladar Levison, David Miranda, Jeremy Scahill, and Lindsay Mills.

The film is an enthralling look a truly historic moment in journalism and the political earthquake that followed, but since Poitras, Greenwald, and Snowden are on our board of directors, do not just take our word for it. The film has received rave reviews from film, art, culture, and political reporters since its world premiere at the New York Film Festival on October 10. You can read excerpts from all of the major reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Here are a few that were published today:'s Geoffrey Cheshire:

Though superlatives can mischaracterize any movie’s qualities, it is not an overstatement, I think, to call “Citizenfour,” Laura Poitras’ film about Edward Snowden, the movie of the century (to date)...

Indeed, no film has ever been historic in quite the way this one is, since it tells a story in which the filmmaker and her work play a crucial part. It’s as if Daniel Ellsberghad a friend with a movie camera who filmed his disclosure of the Pentagon Papers every step of the way. Or if the Watergate burglars had taken along a filmmaker who shot their crimes and the cover-up that followed. Except that the issues “Citizenfour” deals with are, arguably, a thousand times more potent than Vietnam or Watergate.

Whether you think Edward Snowden is a hero or a traitor, you should see the riveting documentary “Citizenfour,” at the very least to get to know better the young man who just a little over a year ago became one of the most pivotal — and shadowy — figures on the geopolitical stage.

Cinema, even in the service of journalism, is always more than reporting, and focusing on what Ms. Poitras’s film is about risks ignoring what it is. It’s a tense and frightening thriller that blends the brisk globe-trotting of the “Bourne” movies with the spooky, atmospheric effects of a Japanese horror film. And it is also a primal political fable for the digital age, a real-time tableau of the confrontation between the individual and the state.

Next week, the film plays in cinemas across Britain and the following week in Germany, with more countries to follow soon. More US cities will be added over time. It all depends on how the opening weekend goes so if you are in DC, LA, NY or San Francisco, so please head out to the theater to support it.

CITIZENFOUR will broadcast on HBO in the US, Channel 4 in the UK, and NDR in Germany starting in Spring 2015.

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