I don’t even know where to begin.  And without saying too much, here it goes.

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Upon the reveal of Edward Snowden in June 2013, there were a plethora of things accused of him, and with those accusations became the many threats on his life, whether imprisonment or death; in the eyes of our government, he was guilty, CITIZENFOUR.

Following the 9/11 attacks, the NSA along with many other government agencies found it necessary to acquire knowledge of the population. Learning our character traits through intercepting communication devices in order to predict our actions; the excuse they use, a method to target terrorists.


The documentary-styled film CITIZENFOUR, an extraordinary recount of the days leading up to one of the biggest scandals of our time.  With every move carefully planned, it is safe to say that the world would have no idea what was to be unleashed, and the effects it would have on us all.  After encrypting his way into the interests of film director Laura Poitras and reporter Glenn Greenwald, Snowden, in total secrecy of his plan from family and loved ones, would carefully detail his growing disgust as an NSA contractor over an 8-day period at the Mira Hotel in Hong Kong.  Risking everything, and prepared to face the consequences, he was quoted saying, “you are not going to bully me into silence like you did everybody else.” One news story would lead to another opening conversation of a whistleblower, reminding me of the day a glasses wearing Snowden ran across my TV screen in a 12 minute viral video, where he explained who he was and why he needed to do what he did.  The trio was remarkably skilled in their efforts and tenacity to get this out to the world, as it was our right to know.

After watching the film, I’m probably more than ever ready to join Elon Musk in his unrelinquished attempts of getting us to Mars, not because of climate change, nor fears that the world might be coming to an end, but because if I must live a life that is mine, free of incarceration and/or terminal illness, I should be allowed to do so free of my liberties. And in a world where that pretty much no longer exists, what do we do next?  How can we prevail with our many birth-rights slowly stripped away from us: having opinions, intellectual conversations, debates, and protest the rights and wrongs that we feel in our hearts to be true?

In my mind, Snowden is a modern day hero of the everyday citizen.  He is a great deal responsible for giving us back our voice against those organizations who’s underlying intentions have always been to control us.  In their minds, we cannot be trusted, to them, we are the terrorists.

With an official release date of October 24th, CITIZENFOUR is an absolute must see.  It will rightfully re-open the conversation discussed around the world 15 months ago, how the NSA has us tapped, and what will become of it in the future.

The film had its world premiere at the New York Film Festival.

-Sade Graham