Citizenfour dir. Laura Poitras on Snowden and the point of no return

From the Best of Q, filmmaker Laura Poitras reflects on her harrowing Oscar-winning documentary about former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
Filmmaker Laura Poitras was the first person Edward Snowden, seen here, trusted with top secret NSA documents that he felt the public has a right to see. (Radius TWC/The Associated Press)

In a conversation from the Best of Q, filmmaker Laura Poitras joins guest host Piya Chattopadhyay to discuss Citizenfour, her harrowing Oscar-winning documentary about former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. 

Poitras, who received a "mysterious set of emails" from Snowden long before he was a household name, details her intense series of interviews with the whistleblower in Hong Kong and Moscow as he evaded capture by U.S. authorities. She spent eight days filming him as he disclosed his top secret government documents to the world as well as his identity.  

The filmmaker explains why the two trusted one another in this high-stakes situation, how being put on a watch list fuelled her choice to make the film, and why she centres her story on Snowden despite his request for her to focus on his revelations.


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