Citizenfour won an Oscar. Several people in a hotel room with laptops, talking, while their cellphones have been put in the refrigerator. Two are interviewing the third, whistleblower Edward Snowden who took data from the most powerful spy agency in the history of the world. None of the people know what is going to happen next.
Snowden said it was worth the sacrifices he's made. "I think everybody involved has paid some cost or another. I can't live with my family nowadays, I can't go back to my home. But it's incredibly satisfying to be a part of something larger than yourself, and there is a tremendous sense of peace in doing what you think is the right thing to do."
"But as Poitras noted in her acceptance speech, the NSA surveillance programs that she helped to reveal "don't only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy." Citizens can't vote out politicians for adopting a wrongheaded or illegal policy "when the most important decisions affecting all of us are made in secret."