Snowden film Citizenfour picks up Oscar for best documentary

Gigaom

Citizenfour, Laura Poitras’s extraordinary depiction of the start of Edward Snowden’s NSA surveillance leaking extravaganza, has won the Academy Award for best documentary.

The film shows how Snowden got in touch with the activist film-maker using the titular pseudonym, and the Hong Kong interviews with Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill in which he started detailing what he knew from his time working at the NSA.

As a rare combination of rights activism, historical record and technological explainer, it is quite unlike any other documentary I have seen (I was lucky enough to catch it at its first showing in Berlin, where it had been edited – Poitras understandably wanted some distance between that process and U.S. intelligence services.)

In her acceptance speech on Sunday night, Poitras said Snowden’s disclosures “don’t only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself. When the decisions that rule us are taken in…

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