Sunday, September 18, 2016

Oliver Stone's Snowden a 'gripping docudrama'

Hacker or hero? Oliver Stone sides with Snowden: review | Toronto Star - Peter Howell:

September 15, 2016 - "With his gripping new docudrama Snowden, which just had its world premiere at TIFF, Stone is totally on the side of Edward Snowden, painting the fugitive ex-CIA and National Security Agency whistleblower as an American patriot, not the evil 'hacker' that U.S. President Obama dismissed Snowden as when it all blew open in 2013.

"Yet Stone does so with a good measure of restraint, a quality rare for him. Joseph Gordon-Levitt sympathetically portrays the bespectacled title cipher, a Rubik’s Cube champ with an IBM brain. He breathes life into the complicated motivations behind a former soldier’s decision to air his country’s dirty laundry to the world, turning himself into a wanted man in the process, his U.S. passport revoked by Washington.

"Dubbed 'Snow White' by a cynical co-worker soon after he arrives with noble intentions at the CIA, Snowden discovers to his dismay that politics, economic advantage and good old-fashioned ambition are the main driving forces behind his new employer — which also routinely tramples on civil liberties by liberally spying on anyone and everyone, even in their bedrooms, publicly denying it all the while....

"Scripted by writer/director Stone with co-writer Kieran Fitzgerald, the movie also gives a fair hearing to the 'war on terror' counter-argument, with Snowden’s boss and mentor Corbin O’Brian (Rhys Ifans, superb) emerging as an intelligent pragmatist who sincerely believes — as do many Americans — that preserving safety and security requires the necessary evil of invading personal privacy.

"Snowden would make a great double bill with Citizenfour, the Oscar-winning 2014 doc by Laura Poitras, which featured the real Edward Snowden as he prepared to reveal his identity to the world."

Read more: https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/movies/2016/09/15/hacker-or-hero-oliver-stone-sides-with-snowden-review.html
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