Lora Simakova, Editor-in-Chief

Oliver Stone’s 2016 movie Snowden is no Oliver Stone movie without the center of focus on a former U.S. government employee. 

With Stone’s background in researching stories like the Richard Nixon case or the 9/11 attacks, it comes with no surprise that he had to jump on the Edward Snowden train. 

The movie itself follows very closely to its 2014 competitor, Citizenfour, in which Snowden’s Hong Kong meeting with interviewers is highlighted. 

Snowden, however, centers more around cinematography rather than documentation. The film has an extensive storyline — three actually — portrayed in a narrative form. 

Stone shows the effect that Snowden’s findings had on his personal health as well as on his relationship with his significant other; his intimate life becomes not so intimate after he realizes his laptop camera is watching his every move. 

The film is arguably more complex and convoluted than its counterpart, Citizenfour. With three storylines all interwoven into one, Snowden’s early years as a child, and the covert operations run by our government, Snowden should also be seen more than just once to understand its full meaning. 

With this all in mind, however, Stone is able to add the human-like characteristic that Citizenfour lacks. With the addition of Snowden’s significant other and a clear mental impact from the research, the movie highlights issues from all sides.

On the cinematography side, Snowden both 

lacks and accomplishes more than the eye can see. Edward Snowden, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, however, excels on all levels. From his body language to the minute details of his facial expressions, Gordon-Levitt carries through a performance to remember.

Overall, Snowden depicts the power of cinematography to portray a story. It’s definitely one for the books… both in film and social industry.