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Citizenfour Documentary

Decent Essays
Typically, documentaries rely heavily on statistical evidence and facts to show the audience proof that their problem is real. However, Citizenfour relies on none of these, and instead relies solely on personal experience and expert testimony as evidence. While, most people may see this as a weakness, in this case, for Citizenfour, it is understandable, due to the content of the documentary. Essentially, the whole documentary is one big personal experience, since majority of the film is spent in Snowden’s Hong Kong hotel room, while he is hiding from the United States government. Here, Snowden and Greenwald, plan on how to continue their reporting, and how to make Snowden’s confession public. Through this, Poitras is able to collect what appears to be raw footage of Snowden’s reactions to the decision-making process, and eventually, the rest of the world finally discovering who he is. This not only, shows the audience what was going on in real time for Snowden, but also shows the complications with it, and how quickly the United States located him. By capturing Snowden’s real-time reactions, Poitras is also able to include a dramatic element to the film by simply showing how this…show more content…
Most notably, their raid on his office, where he, by his report was held at gunpoint, while the FBI confiscated sensitive documents. (6:41) By including this testimony, Poitras is able to show the audience how crucial it was for the government to keep their actions a secret. Especially by including that they raided their employee’s office with the capabilities to end his life. More importantly, she shows the audience how far back the NSA whistleblower scandal goes, since Binney was calling the government out on virtually the same grievances as Snowden, but only twelve years
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