In January 2013, filmmaker Laura Poitras started receiving encrypted emails from someone identifying himself as "citizen four," who was ready to blow the whistle on the massive covert surveillance programs run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies. It turned out that "Citizen four" was Edward Snowden, and in June of 2013, Poitras took her camera and traveled to Hong Kong, where she taped Snowden's first encounter with journalist Glenn Greenwald. In this in-depth conversation with Elvis Mitchell following the West Coast premiere of the film, she talks about her cinema verite style of filmmaking, how she collaborated with her editor Mathilde Bonnefoy to shape the story, and what it was like when Snowden first contacted her.
This conversation was taped in front of a live audience as part of the Film Independent at LACMA screening series.
Banner image courtesy of Film Independent.