Citizenfour won the Oscar for best documentary on February 22, an award that its director Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald collected, later joined on stage by Edward Snowden's partner Lindsay Mills.
“The disclosures of Edward Snowden don’t only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself,” said Poitras when receiving the Oscar.
“When the decisions that rule us are taken in secret we lose the power to control and govern ourselves.”
Thanking Snowden for his “sacrifices”, she added: “I share this award with Glenn Greenwald and the many other journalists who are taking risks to expose the truth.”
Responding to the award, Snowden, now in exile in Moscow, wrote a note to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) thanking Poitras for a “brilliant” documentary.
“My hope is that this award will encourage more people to see the film and be inspired by its message that ordinary citizens, working together, can change the world,” he said.
The documentary tells the story of former NSA contractor Snowden, who revealed in 2013 how the US agency spied on citizens of the world. Citizenfour refers to the pseudonym Snowden used when he first contacted Poitras.
Poitras had already been nominated in the 2007 Oscars for her film My Country, My Country, describing the lives of Iraqis under the occupation of the US army.
Among other things, Poitras' documentary depicts how whistle-blowers are poorly protected and how Snowden's rescue by WikiLeaks was difficult when he was judicially persecuted in Hong Kong by the US government.
Snowden focuses on his revelations rather than his personal life in the film, Greenwald said at the film's launch in New York in October: “The fact that he is now living in domestic bliss as well, with his long-term girlfriend whom he loves, should forever put to rest the absurd campaign to depict his life as grim and dank.”
[Reprinted from TeleSUR English.]