11 October, 2014

Laura Poitras’s Closeup View of Edward Snowden

Laura Poitras’s Closeup View of Edward Snowden:

But Snowden also created a problem for Poitras.
Having received e-mails and documents from him, she had entered the
story, and she knew that the audience needed to understand her
participation. She had, reluctantly, become a public figure, if far less
famous than Snowden and Greenwald. This year, after the N.S.A.
disclosures, she and her collaborators won a Pulitzer Prize and other
journalism awards. Bonnefoy thought that Poitras should appear on camera
doing further reporting on the N.S.A., but Poitras rejected the idea as
alien to her style. She liked Michael Moore, but she could never be a
character in her own work. She knew that Snowden’s e-mails would become
part of the film, and for a long time she intended to ask him to record
himself reading them, but in the end she didn’t. “It would be asking him
to play himself,” she said. “I’m interested in how people understand
things in present tense, and not how they tell the story back to
themselves in the past. That’s why I’m not that interested in
interviews. People create these narratives of themselves, and it becomes
a kind of locked path. All the uncertainty and danger and risk and
decision-making are ripped from the telling.”