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“Whistleblower or Hero?”


Production : Endgame Entertainment, Wild Bunch, KrautPack Entertainment, Onda Entertainment, Vendian Entertainment
Distributor : Open Road Films
Director : Oliver Stone
Casts : Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood, Logan Marshall-Green, Timothy Olyphant, Ben Schnetzer, LaKeith Lee Stanfield, Rhys Ifans, Nicolas Cage
Duration : 134 minutes
Release Date : September 22, 2016

The story focuses on Edward Snowden played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt who is an NSA employee who leaked to public thousand of classified documents and distributed to the press. This film shows the journey from the first time Snowden became an NSA employee till now living in Moscow and unable to go back to America.

The film starts with Laura Poitras played by Academy Award winner; Melissa Leo and Glenn Greenwald played by Star Trek’s star; Zachary Quinto who are waited for Snowden in a public place somewhere in Hong Kong. Snowden meets them with a maze question about some spicy Chinese food. Then, Snowden brings the filmmaker and the journalist to his hotel room. And the film starts to flashbacks while Snowden tells his story to the two. Starting from how he got into the CIA to how he met his lover Lindsay Mills played by the Divergent actress Shailene Woodley.

This film is based on the books The Snowden Files by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena which tells the real life story of Edward Snowden battling to open to the public about the documents. And before making it into a feature film, in 2014 Laura Poitras released its documentary film Citizenfour that received Academy Award for Best Documentary.

The film is Oliver Stone’s comeback since 2012. From right at the beginning till the end of the film, every frame just flows. Good directing is one of the greatest factors that this film is not boring yet kinda inspiring. With the special cameo from Edward Snowden himself at the end of the film makes this more ‘real’. And make it connect to people deeply. Every scenes looked so well planned with artistic and beautiful pictures at the same time. Joseph Gordon-Levitt himself proves that his acting is worth an Academy Award and maybe because getting into his character too deep he even pledged to donate his entire salary to promote "help facilitate the conversation" with the relationship between technology and democracy.

Even though making this film into reality quite difficult. Shooting in Germany not in the U.S because no companies in the U.S. would want to afford the film. And some could say this film is this year’s box office bomb for $34 million income with $40 million budget. Too little for such a brilliant movie! Well, being premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and with good casts doesn’t mean the film will be successful in the market. Whatever it is, this film is worth watching and YOU are the one who can decide whether Edward Snowden a Whistleblower or Hero? Think it deeply.(Anna Rose)

Point: 85


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