#Review TIFF 16’s “Snowden”

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Photo Courtesy of Elevation Pictures

Oliver Stone’s “Snowden” takes the viewer through the journey of Edward Snowden’s story, leaving you to decide whether or not his actions were patriotic, or of a traitors. Starring Joseph Gordon Levitt as Edward Snowden, the film’s series of events lead up to Snowden’s 2013 encounter, starting from a hotel room in Hong Kong.

The story first starts as Snowden’s parting from the military to join the CIA and then move on to the NSA. As he works behind the scenes of the American public, Snowden beings to find and realize the extent of surveillance that is happening. Shocked, he releases the classified information to the public only to have the NSA exposed for what they are doing.

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Joseph Gordon Levitt played Edward Snowden with grace and pose. He was able to be more of a media friendly version of real life Snowden, as he avoided the camera and press for the long time. Shailene Woodley’s character as Snowden’s girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, gave the audience an opportunity to see her past the Divergent image that she set for herself.

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Director Oliver Stone went above and beyond with doing the best he can to keeping true to the story. He set up interviews with Snowden, all the way in Russia, to gather more accurate information leading up to the NSA reveal. Stone was able to deliver to the audience the side of the United States government, only helping real-life Snowden’s case; you really don’t know what is happening behind government closed doors.

Elevation Pictures and TARO PR releases Snowden on Friday, Sept 16, 2016

[Review by Reem Chahrour]

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