Green Screen for June: Citizen Four
Tuesday, June 2nd at 4:30 pm The Hernando County Green Party will show the Academy Award winning film: Citizen Four (114 minutes) This is the story of how Edward Snowden made contact with the press.
The public is welcome to join us for this free presentation. We will also have refreshments. This is the final edition of our Laura Poitras trilogy. Call Suzanne at 352-666-7576 for more info.
In January 2013, Laura Poitras received an encrypted e-mail from a stranger who called himself Citizen Four. In it, he offered her inside information about illegal wiretapping practices of the US National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence agencies. Poitras had already been working for several years on a film about monitoring programs in the US that were the result of the September 11 attacks. In June 2013, accompanied by investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian intelligence reporter Ewen MacAskill, she went to Hong Kong with her camera for the first meeting with the stranger, who identified himself as Edward Snowden.
After four days of interviews, on June 9 Snowden’s identity is made public at his request. As media outlets begin to discover his location at the The Mira Hong Kong, Snowden relocates to Poitras’ room in an attempt to elude phone calls made to his room. Facing potential extradition and prosecution in the United States, Snowden schedules a meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and applies for refugee status. After Poitras believes she is being followed, she leaves Hong Kong for Berlin.
On June 21, the US government requests the Hong Kong government extradite Snowden. Snowden manages to depart from Hong Kong, but his American passport is cancelled before he can connect to Havana, and he is stranded in the Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow. On August 1, 2013 the Russian government granted Snowden temporary asylum for a period of one year. Meanwhile, Greenwald has returned to his home in Rio de Janeiro, and speaks publicly about United States’ utilization of NSA programs for foreign surveillance. Greenwald and Poitras maintain a correspondence wherein they both express reluctance to return to the United States.
Throughout, the film offers smaller vignettes that precede and follow Snowden’s Hong Kong interviews, including William Binney speaking about NSA programs, and eventually testifying before the German Parliament regarding NSA spying in Germany.
The film closes with Greenwald, Snowden and Poitras meeting once again, this time in Russia. Greenwald and Snowden discuss new emerging details on US intelligence programs, careful to only write down and not speak critical pieces of information. Greenwald tears these documents creating a pile of scraps, before slowly removing them from the table.