New York Film Festival director Kent Jones said today that the Film Society of Lincoln Center has added the world premiere of Laura Poitras’ CITIZENFOUR to its Main Slate lineup. The presentation will run Friday, October 10 at 6 PM at Alice Tully Hall. Poitras will also participate in a free HBO Directors Dialogues the following day at 4 PM, at the Walter Reade Theater. The film, from RADiUS in association with Participant Media and HBO Documentary Films, opens theatrically October 24.
According to the festival: In January 2013, Poitras was several years into the making of a film about abuses of national security in post-9/11 America when she started receiving encrypted e-mails from someone identifying himself as “citizen four,” who was ready to blow the whistle on the massive covert surveillance programs run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies. In June 2013, she and reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The film that resulted from this series of tense encounters is absolutely sui generis in the history of cinema: a 100% real-life thriller unfolding minute by minute before our eyes.
“Seeing CITIZENFOUR for the first time is an experience I’ll never forget,” Jones said in a statement released by the society. “The film operates on multiple levels at the same time: a character study (of Edward Snowden)… a real-life suspense story… and a chilling exposé. When the lights came up, everyone in the room was alternately stunned, excited, and deeply troubled. A brave documentary, but also a powerful work from a master storyteller.”