I believe in Edward Snowden,
the brave, the whistleblower.
he exposer of surveillance in the United States of America and the rest of the world.
And in Laura Poitras, his privy helper, our prophetess.
He received the documents of the NSA.
Born was the doubt in privacy
W a s c r u c i f i e d, d i e d a n d w a s b u r i e d.
Downloaded into the secret services of our parliaments
On the 6th of June 2013 revealed by the newspapers.
He descended when the time was right – out of fear towards the allmighty authorities.
From there he came to fly to Moscow and elsewhere.
I believe in the free spirit,
The free, anonymous community,
The collaboration of Secret Services,
The perpetration of politicians,
The resurrection of a surveillance society
And the everlasting storage.
Do you still believe in the existence of your fundamental rights?
What is our freedom (of speech) even worth if we are constantly suspected of whatever we say or do? Does the fear of suspicion lead to the loss of our vested freedom?
Laura Poitras carries us straight into a real science fiction thriller, far away from our own lives but at the same time completely trivial. In January 2013 the, until then, unknown Edward Snowden contacts the filmdirector Laura Poitras. He signes his encripted Emails with CITIZENFOUR. At that time Poitras lives and works in Berlin, as she has been classified a terror suspect since 2006 in the United States due to her critical political films. Snowden provides proof for the surveillance of millions of citizens by the NSA. He asks Poitras to release the evidence he has. Other than Lesley Manning and Julian Assange, Snowden himself does not want to be the center of attention. Poitras agrees, convinces him, however, that his personal motivation is indispensable for the story. A meeting takes place in Hong Kong in June 2013 – 8 days inside the claustrophobic constrictions of his hotel room, the camera always present. Together with the Guardian Journalist Glenn Greenwald they consult about how to release these explosive documents. An immense political scandal is gradually disclosed as the documentary is shot.
Poitras combines the visually void images of the hotelroom with spectacular images of huge secret services buildings, in which the data of millions of people is stored and processed. CITIZENFOUR further shows how the only 29 year-old Snowden reflects and rationalizes the situation. His personal reservation impresses, leaving him a modern hero. The short foreword he recorded for the premiere in Leipzig, in which he refers to the turn in history also in Leipzig after the Fall of the Iron Curtain, touches many in the audience.