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Oliver Stone’s SNOWDEN presents the story of the world’s most famous whistleblower as a thriller with a very patriotic hero. Stone makes it very clear that global surveillance and cyberwarfare threatens the life of every individual.


Oliver Stone has often tackled current political debates in his films. The question of whether Edward Snowden should be pardoned by the US president is part of the US election debate. Trump, Clinton, and Sanders are against it, Gary Johnson from the libertarian party wants to think about it, and Jill Stein promises Snowden a job in the Cabinet. Oliver Stone has to persuade the moderate left and the conservatives. That is why Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is shown in such an extremely patriotic way. A brave soldier who didn’t become a marine because of an injury who has a conventional relationship. An Oliver Stone film should remain connected in all ways. The shocking things that Snowden’s discoveries reveal are presented as a political scandal like in Laura Poitra’s documentary CITIZENFOUR, but it also seems like a threat to the personal integrity of every individual. SNOWDEN shows the surveillance, spying, and cyber warfare possibilities of the NSA and the CIA in such a clear way that no one will want to leave their laptop open in the room anymore. If you know someone who knows an Arab, a political activist, a banker, a politician, an engineer, a lawyer - you will be spied on. Everyone is susceptible to blackmail, every life can be destroyed with one calm decision, even if it’s just done to impress someone else. The infrastructure of allied countries can also be paralyzed once they aren’t friendly anymore (see ZERO DAYS). SNOWDEN makes it clear that surveillance doesn’t just destroy democracy, it also threatens every individual.

Tom Dorow

Translation: Elinor Lewy


USA/Deutschland/Frankreich 2016, 138 min
Genre: Biography, Drama, Thriller
Director: Oliver Stone
Author: Oliver Stone, Kieran Fitzgerald
DOP: Anthony Dod Mantle
Montage: Alex Marquez, Lee Percy
Distributor: Universum Film GmbH
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo
FSK: 6
Release: 22.09.2016




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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