Citizenfour (2014): Laura Poitras’ Piercing Docu about Edward Snowden

Citizenfour, a documentary about Edward Snowden, premiered on October 10, 2014, at New York Film Festival.

She said she was editing the film in Berlin because she feared her source material would be seized by the government inside the U.S.

In an interview with The Washington Post about Citizenfour  Poitras said that she considered herself to be the narrator of the film but made a choice not to be seen on camera: “I come from a filmmaking tradition where I’m using the camera—it’s my lens to express the filmmaking I do. In the same way that a writer uses their language, for me it’s the images that tell the story … the camera is my tool for documenting things, so I stay mostly behind it.”

Poitras introducing her film Citizenfour at IFC Center on opening night

Citizenfour won the Best Documentary Feature Oscar of 2014.

Poitras is portrayed by actress Melissa Leo in the biographical drama film Snowden (2016), directed by Oliver Stone, and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Snowden.