MEDIA

Laura Poitras's Edward Snowden Documentary Is Being Released

FILE - In this file image made from video released by WikiLeaks on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, former National Security Agency sys
FILE - In this file image made from video released by WikiLeaks on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden speaks during a presentation ceremony for the Sam Adams Award in Moscow, Russia. Snowden was awarded the Sam Adams Award, according to videos released by the organization WikiLeaks. The award ceremony was attended by three previous recipients. (AP Photo, File)

By now, the story of how a team of journalists met Edward Snowden in a Hong Kong hotel has become the stuff of legend, a modern-day update to Bob Woodward and Deep Throat in the parking garage.

But the Snowden story has something Woodward's didn't: video footage of the encounter. The video is part of a new documentary called "CITIZENFOUR," by Laura Poitras, one of the journalists who met Snowden on that fateful day in 2013. On Tuesday, the New York Film Festival made a surprise announcement that the film will be a part of its 2014 lineup.

It marked the first time that the storied festival has ever added a title to its slate after its schedule had already been announced. "CITIZENFOUR" will screen on October 16th, and will be released in theaters on October 24th.

In a press release, the NYFF said (perhaps with a fair amount of hype) that "CITIZENFOUR" was "absolutely sui generis in the history of cinema: a 100% real-life thriller unfolding minute by minute before our eyes."

The documentary will doubtless be eagerly anticipated, not least because it marks the most high-profile intervention by Poitras into the ongoing Snowden journalism. Though it was she who instigated the initial meeting with Snowden, her story has taken something of a back seat to that of Glenn Greenwald, who has become the undisputed public face of the Snowden saga. A steady stream of journalists has traveled to Greenwald's home in Brazil to interview him, and he has been a constant presence on television; Poitras has been much more behind-the-scenes, with some notable exceptions.

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