Laura Poitras’ documentary about rogue NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden and the leaks detailing the agency's surveillance will premier in the UK this Friday as part of the London Film Festival.
Citizenfour, named for Snowden's sign-off on his emails to Poitras, will be shown in Curzon Cinemas in London and around 70 other locations in the UK ahead of its general release on 31 October. The film will be followed by a live Q&A via satellite.
The documentary was made by Poitras after she was contacted by Snowden ahead of his infamous leak of reams of National Security Agency data that showed the agency was snooping on the phone calls and internet activity of US citizens and other people all over the world, often with the aid of foreign intelligence agencies.
It tells the story of the week in the Hong Kong Mira hotel, where Snowden first met Poitras, Glenn Greenwald – then a journalist at The Guardian – and his colleague Ewan Macaskill and then took them through the information he had regarding the NSA – detailing PRISM, TEMPORA and other spy programmes for data surveillance.
Poitras considers the film the third part of a trilogy she’s made about the United States post-9/11, after two previous films covered the Iraq war (My Country, My Country) and Guantanamo (The Oath).
She has since helped found online news publication The Intercept, along with Greenwald and journalist Jeremy Scahill, which primarily publishes reports about further information found in the documents disclosed by Snowden.
Watch out for The Reg's review of the documentary on Saturday. ®