I was very much on the fence about seeing Citizen Four; I think it shows how badly informed on the topic I was since I kept getting Edward Snowden and Julian Assange confused; I'm also concerned about how uncaring I was about the revelations that were coming out.
However we'll get more into the politics and why it's so important right now in Australia; but for now let's review the documentary itself. I haven't seen the two other documentaries by Laura Poitras, the three together are considered a trilogy on post 9/11 America. I can say that it isn't required for you to have watched the others to really enjoy this documentary.
The atmosphere is designed to feel intense from the beginning as they go over the security measures that Snowden was introducing to try and release the information. Perhaps it is because I didn't know enough about his reveals going into it but from a film point of view the danger felt to sudden and didn't match with the visual and audio tone. Things however pick up very quickly and once we finally meet Snowden the documentary really hits its stride; the footage all feels incredibly natural. Helped by the fact the subject Snowden is fairly charismatic. There is an ongoing sense of tension that makes the documentary seem like another world from the one we live in, but then it keeps grounding itself to remind us that the tension is real and exists in our world. The only real criticism I have is that the soundtrack doesn't really fit, often feeling the only artificial aspect.
So, if you are a fan of the documentaries, then definitely check this one out. And if you aren't, still go see this movie.
We are way to cavalier about how about our privacy and rights in exchange for a little bit of ease; however in Australia, the Labour Government recently said it would fold on the issue of data retention. No I've not been blogging in a while so I'm not going to jump straight into a political rant but I would strongly advise anyone to look up the issue and if you feel as strongly about it as I do. Speak to your local member and let them know.
Next time, just a review without the political rant...well... actually I make no promises!
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