(Oscar nominated and shortlisted documentaries.)
Co-Sponsored by the Center for Constitutional Rights
Laura Poitras, 2014, 114 min
Citizenfour is a real life thriller, unfolding by the minute, giving audiences unprecedented access to filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s encounters with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA). Poitras had already been working on a film about surveillance for two years when Snowden contacted her, using the name Citizenfour, in January 2013. He reached out to her because he knew she had long been a target of government surveillance, stopped at airports numerous times, and had refused to be intimidated.
When Snowden revealed he was a high-level analyst driven to expose the massive surveillance of Americans by the NSA, Poitras persuaded him to let her film. Citizenfour places you in the room with Poitras, Greenwald, and Snowden as they attempt to manage the media storm raging outside, forced to make quick decisions that will impact their lives and all of those around them. Citizenfour not only shows you the dangers of governmental surveillance—it makes you feel them. After seeing the film, you will never think the same way about your phone, email, credit card, web browser, or profile, ever again. Nominated for the 2015 Best Documentary Feature Academy Award.
Q&A with attorney Shayana Kadidal.
Shayana Kadidal is senior managing attorney of the Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City. He is a 1994 graduate of Yale Law School and a former law clerk to Judge Kermit Lipez of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. In his twelve years at the Center, he has worked on a number of significant cases arising in the wake of 9/11, including the Center's challenges to the detention of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay (among them torture victim Mohammed al Qahtani and former CIA ghost detainee Majid Khan), which have twice reached the Supreme Court, and several cases arising out of the post-9/11 domestic immigration sweeps. He was also counsel in CCR's legal challenges to the "material support" statute (Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, decided by the Supreme Court in 2010), to the low rates of black firefighter hiring in New York City, and to the NSA's warrantless surveillance program. Along with others at the Center, he currently serves as U.S. counsel to WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. On behalf of plaintiffs including Assange, Glenn Greenwald, and other journalists, he led litigation that ultimately resulted in public release of over 550 previously-withheld documents during the court-martial of Pvt. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning.Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ADUs8iN7NE