20 Jan 2015

Filmmaker Laura Poitras on her work with Edward Snowden

From Nine To Noon, 11:23 am on 20 January 2015

After journalist and documentary maker Laura Poitras received encrypted emails from someone with information on the US government's massive covert-surveillance programs, she and reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong to meet the sender, who turned out to be Edward Snowden.

When Snowden revealed he was a high-level analyst driven to expose the massive surveillance of Americans by the NSA, Poitras persuaded him to let her film. The resulting film, Citizenfour, has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary.

Laura Poitras talks to Kathryn Ryan about the experience.

Citizenfour is the third in Poitras' trilogy of films about post-9/11 America. The first, My Country, My Country, focused on the Iraq War and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2007. The second, The Oath, was about Guantanamo Bay detention centre and was nominated for two Emmy awards.

Laura Poitras' NSA reporting contributed to a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service awarded to the Guardian and Washington Post. Citizenfour is released in New Zealand on February 12, 2015.