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Citizenfour Blu-ray Review

Citizenfour Blu-ray

“Citizenfour” is an important documentary.

For those that don’t know, “Citizenfour” is an Academy Award winning documentary that revolves around NSA infrastructure analyst turned whistleblower Edward Snowden, documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, and journalist Glenn Greenwald. The film largely takes place in real time as Poitras documents her meetings in Hong Kong with Snowden and Greenwald as Snowden reveals information, documents, and facts about the NSA’s questionable acts of spying on phones and internet (among other things). We (the audience) also see the impact of the stories being released to the public as well as the impact these risky leaks have on the lives of the journalists and Snowden.

While “Citizenfour” does contain interviews and archival footage like an average documentary does, the film does not play like your average documentary. Due to the active involvement of gutsy director Laura Poitras and the real time style, “Citizenfour” often plays like a real life political thriller more than a documentary (which it kind of is). Truthfully, it’s pretty groundbreaking material and it’s surprising that this film even exists at all.

Perhaps the most intriguing element here is that you are seeing Snowden’s life unfold before your very eyes. Whether you detest or admire the man for his actions to protect people’s privacy and freedom, it is fascinating to watch him risk his life, go into hiding, and internally struggle with his unknown future. It’s like watching a deep real life character study.


Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. Grade: A-

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. Grade: B

* Anchor Bay/Radius trailers.
* 3 deleted scenes.
* “Film Society Of Lincoln Center Q&A With Laura Poitras and Dennis Lim” (28 minutes)- Fascinating and informative.
* ‘The Program- A New York Times OP-Doc By Laura Poitras”- A short 8 ½ minute docu about surveillance and NSA. Basically, this could be a companion piece to “Citizenfour.”
* “New York Times Timestalks With Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden (via a feed) and David Carr”- The late David Carr hosts this insightful Q&A discussion.
Overall Thoughts: Whether you think Snowden is a traitor or not, there’s no denying that “Citizenfour” is an unnerving and revealing film about security, freedom, and free speech in this post 9/11 world.

August 23, 2015 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | ,

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