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In “Citizenfour,” Laura Poitras’ riveting documentary about Edward Snowden, the whistleblower quietly observes that it would be a mistake to make him the focus of his 2013 revelations of the breadth and depth of the National Security Agency’s surveillance of civilians. In other words, don’t blame the messenger—blame the NSA for reading your email messages.

Yet Oliver Stone’s “Snowden,” starring a ghostly Joseph Gordon-Levitt, proves that focusing on the intelligence contractor himself is not a mistake. As subtly drawn as it is politically urgent, “Snowden” is a very good film with a phenomenal performance by Gordon-Levitt at its center. Movie and performance are forceful precisely because they make palpable the subject’s growing moral revulsion at the extent of U.S. surveillance. Likewise his shock at how some of his superiors view intel as a gambit in what resembles a video game that one of them calls, “You track ‘em, we whack ’em.”

“A director makes only one movie in his life. Then he breaks it up and makes it again,” said filmmaker Jean Renoir, who could have been describing the man who made “Snowden.” Like the best Stone films—“Platoon,” “Born on the Fourth of July,” “Wall Street”—“Snowden” is the story of a young idealist who suffers a moral crisis compounded by Oedipal fury against the father figure in whom he has lost faith.

full: http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/snowden_film_review_a_subtler_oliver_stone_is_back_20160915
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