The Edward Snowden documentary "Citizenfour" won Best Documentary at the Oscars on Sunday night. Director Laura Poitras accepted the award with Glenn Greenwald and Lindsay Mills, Snowden's girlfriend, by her side.
"The disclosures that Edward Snowden reveals don't only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself," Poitras said in her acceptance speech. "When the most important decisions being made, affecting all of us, are made in secret, we lose our ability to check the powers that control. Thank you to Edward Snowden, for his courage, and for the many other whistleblowers. I share this with Glenn Greenwald and other journalists who are exposing truth."
The film tells the story of Snowden's 2013 National Security Agency leaks. Poitras traveled to Hong Kong to meet with Snowden. "Citizenfour" analyzed the impact of the surveillance documents he revealed, as well as his role as a public figure threatening to eclipse the story he unmasked.
"When Laura Poitras asked me if she could film our encounters, I was extremely reluctant. I’m grateful that I allowed her to persuade me," Snowden said in a statement released by the American Civil Liberties Union. "The result is a brave and brilliant film that deserves the honor and recognition it has received. 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."
"Citizenfour" beat out "The Salt of the Earth," "Last Days in Vietnam," "Virunga" and "Finding Vivian Maier" for the honor.
See a full list of Oscar winners here.
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