How do you make a story about the process behind the leaking of documents one that engages and rivets? Oliver Stone does just this, delivering perhaps his greatest work in quite some time in Snowden.
The story still fresh on our minds, Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets deep into the psyche of whistleblower/traitor (however you stand on the matter) Edward Snowden as we witness his rise as a young man within the Central Intelligence Agency, where he learns that the privacy and fundamental rights of Americans are threatened when he is made aware that the big eight telecommunication corporations in the U.S. store and make accessible the activities of Americans to the National Security Agency.
Despite the government denying this, Snowden struggles with himself in a battle between conscience and career before deciding famously to leak several highly-classified documents, which prove exactly what the U.S. government didn’t want the world to know.
Gordon-Levitt is front and center in a masterful performance where from certain angles and in certain frames, we truly feel we are witnessing the real Snowden. The story plays from several angles, looking at his struggle with health, love, the government and also himself and on most levels he nails this portrait of a man both revered and misunderstood.
SNOWDEN screens at TIFF Friday, September 9, 2016 at 9 PM Roy Thomson Hall, Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 12:00 PM Roy Thomson Hall and Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 9:45 AM Scotiabank Theatre.