The Lives of Ours: Laura Poitras’s Citizenfour – My Review at The Baffler

I attended the world premiere of Citizenfour, the documentary on Edward Snowden. I wrote a movie review for The Baffler and focused on the logic of data inference and national security, the legacies of 9/11.

What does an Iraqi doctor-politician, a reformed jihadist who was once Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard, and Edward Snowden all have in common? Right now, someone somewhere is saying about all three: They belong in a cage. But not Laura Poitras, the documentary filmmaker behind a 9/11 trilogy that begins in post-invasion Baghdad, then journeys to Guantanamo Bay and Yemen, and ends in Hong Kong. This final installment—the most revelatory and commanding of the three—focuses on Snowden, the former NSA contractor and enemy of the state.

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