Citizenfour has won the Oscar for best documentary, for its director Laura Poitras, editor Mathilde Bonnefoy and producer Dirk Wilutzky.
Collecting the award, Poitras, flanked by journalist and collaborator Glenn Greenwald, said: “The disclosures of Edward Snowden don’t only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself. When the decisions that rule us are taken in secret we lose the power to control and govern ourselves.” Poitras thanked Edward Snowden for his “sacrifices”, and added: “I share this award with Glenn Greenwald and the many other journalists who are taking risks to expose the truth.”
The team were joined onstage by Snowden’s girlfriend, Lindsay Mills. In response to the news, Snowden himself wrote:
“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. The result is a brave and brilliant film that deserves the honour 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.”
Guardian defence correspondent (and Citizenfour star) Ewen MacAskill said:
“Congratulations to Laura Poitras. When she filmed Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and myself in Hong Kong, it never occurred to me she had something as ambitious as CitizenFour in mind.
I did not even give much thought to why she was filming: just assumed she wanted a record of events for some undisclosed reason, maybe a low-budget film to be used by privacy campaigners. It came as a surprise when I finally saw it, the sheer professionalism of it, and I had no doubt from that point she would win an Oscar.
Good news for Laura. Good news too for Snowden: he can treat the Oscar as one of his biggest endorsements yet.”
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SOURCE: The Guardian, Andrew Pulver