It’s good that this film exists to explain things to many more people, those who get their info from the movies. I’m someone who has written and posted on these issues in real time for years, and so I knew most of the Snowden saga already.
Ed Snowden is an American hero who sacrificed for the greater good. James Clapper, Michael Hayden and Barack Obama have lied and covered up the extent of their Unconstitutional surveillance. They should have been removed from power years ago, for numerous reasons, and prosecuted. But there are two sets of laws in this country; don’t delude yourself.
Edward Snowden is special for several reasons. The most important one is that he brought the documentation to prove his claims. He knew that complaints without the documentation were worthless, and so the Catch 22 of getting documentation being illegal is exposed. The government makes its crimes Classified. A secret Deep State operates out of view of the public and even the Congress, which is supposed to exercise oversight. Far beyond operating in the shadows, the Deep State blackmails government officials, which was exposed by another NSA whistleblower Russell Tice. Tice didn’t bring documents with him, and so the government and much of the media ignored him. Tice’s example must have influenced Snowden’s decision to smuggle out everything.
The Snowden film is one of Oliver Stone’s better jobs. I felt a positive vibe by closing credits, despite the bleak, unresolved resolution. One problem I had was that I don’t think Stone gets the September 11th attacks, at all. It’s okay that Snowden didn’t understand, but Stone should have gone deeper. These were a minor footnote in the narrative, but it irks me that after fifteen years of struggle by millions to get the word out about the 9/11 cover-up that mainstream media and films continue to ignore the facts.
Joseph Gordon Levitt and Shailene Woodley were very good and believable. The issues weighed heavily, but the final climax wasn’t as intense as people may expect from the movies. The Death Star didn’t blow up. This is a bio-pic, an important one. David Swanson called it the best film of the year, and I haven’t seen anything better so far. Not to say that there weren’t better offerings, I don’t get out much.
This would be a four-star effort, owing much to the importance of the subject matter.