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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.”

Citizenfour
Directed by Laura Poitras
Staring Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald & William Binney
In cinemas now

Directed, filmed, and produced by Laura Poirtas, Citizenfour is a documentary about exposing truths those in power would like hidden, and the danger of mass surveillance in our present society.

Focusing on the case of National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, who exposed the US government body's wholesale spying around the world, it takes the viewer on a thrilling journey to reveal how the story unfolded away from the spotlight.

50 Shades of Grey
Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson
Starring Dakota Johnson & Jamie Dornan
Based on the novel by EL James
In cinemas now

Perhaps the most concerning thing about 50 Shades of Grey is not that it is a film adaptation of a novel that was written in an online forum — and a Twilight fan forum at that.

Selma
Directed by Ava DuVernay
Starring David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo & Common
In cinemas now

The release of Selma could not be better suited to the current US political climate. Following the events in Ferguson last year, and many other tragic instances of police murdering and brutalising African American youth, a large anti-police brutality and anti-racism movement has arisen that is shaking the US.

American Sniper
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Starring Bradley Cooper & Sienna Millar
In cinemas now

Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper has two clashing narratives. The first is about a soldier in the US army (i.e. the content of the film). The second is much bigger, about war and terrorism (i.e. the content of the discussion the film has generated).

The movie fails not in explaining these two topics properly and, as a result, leaving it up to the viewer to make up their own mind whether the action of the soldier should be applauded.

Noam Chomsky had some choice words about the popularity of the Clint Eastwood Movie American Sniper, its glowing New York Times review, and what the worship of a movie about a cold-blooded killer says about the American people.

It's not good.

In a move that surprised many ― and symbolises Israel's growing isolation and global opposition to its crimes ― former Australian foreign minister Bob Carr has publicly declared his opposition to Israeli policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

Carr's change in position was announced in a November 8 Australian opinion piece titled “Why I am now a friend of Palestine rather than Israel”.

Charlie's Country
Directed by Rolf de Heer
Starring David Gulpilil
In cinemas now

From the opening moments of Charlie’s Country you know that you are witnessing a different kind of cinematic experience.

Co-written by its star David Gulpilil and its director Rolf de Heer, and produced by Aboriginal actor Peter Djigirr, Charlie’s Country presents an Aboriginal cinematic vernacular.

Les Miserables Now playing in Melbourne www.lesmis.com.au Les Miserables tells two stories: one of personal love, the other of revolutionary passion. It is no surprise that most Western adaptations of Victor Hugo's novel have, when deciding what to cut and what to leave in, favoured the clasped hands of romance over the clenched fist of insurrection. The story we all know -- the one that is left after adaptation pares away everything else -- is that of Jean Valjean, the ex-convict who redeems himself through acts of charity.

The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler
Ben Urwand
Belknap, 2013
327 pages, $39.95 (hb)

Throughout the 1930s, movie-goers all over the world got to see the German Nazi’s cut of every Hollywood film. Any movie touching on Germany contained no mention of Nazism or Jews.

Both these silences, as Harvard University’s Ben Urwand unearths in The Collaboration, were the result of a remarkable agreement allowing the Nazis to dictate Hollywood movie content in return for Hollywood studios keeping their access to the lucrative German market.

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