Documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras is familiar to Laemmle audiences from her films My Country, My Country (an Oscar nominee) and The Oath. She and Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald are the people who facilitated former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s leak about the full extent of U.S. government surveillance. As detailed in the last weekend’s New York Times Magazine cover story about her, she’s now making a film on the same subject, but after years of intense harassment at airports (even before connecting with Snowden the government placed her on the watch list known as Secondary Security Selection), she has relocated to Berlin to protect her material from seizure. The measures she takes to protect herself and her work from surveillance is just one of the stunning and chilling things revealed in the article.
When asked by the Times reporter why he chose to contact Poitras and give her and Greenwald all of his documents (thus far they have only released a small portion of them), Snowden said “she had demonstrated the courage, personal experience and skill needed to handle what is probably the most dangerous assignment any journalist can be given — reporting on the secret misdeeds of the most powerful government in the world — making her an obvious choice.”