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Snowden Film

Updated on September 16, 2016
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Pam is the CEO of Megawot Entertainment, with her other half, serving as the inspiration behind the company.

The Better Movie Trailer

Film Synopsis

Now that I’ve given you a pretty neat-O trailer, here’s the gist.

Edward Snowden’s life is shown, from 2004 to 2013, where he works for several U.S. governmental agencies. Accused of being a “Whistleblower,” after being discharged from the U.S. Army while in Special Forces Boot Camp, he really wanted to serve his country. He ends up being employed by the CIA as both an employee and, later returning as a private contractor for Dell Computers. After he resigns from the CIA, he’s un-employed for a while, until he secures a job offer from the NSA as a contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton in Hawaii.

The story takes place in different locations: Geneva, Switzerland; Japan; Columbia, MD & Oahu, HI, USA; Hong Kong, China.

The sub-story is his relationship with his girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, and is interwoven into the main storyline. She influences him a lot throughout the film. The real Edward Snowden makes an appearance at the film’s conclusion, where he’s being interviewed from what is assumed to be Moscow, but “the Internet can be anywhere.” Great camera work and editing from the Actor to the Person!

Contrary to other Film Critics’ reviews, this film is thought-provoking (as an Oliver Stone film still delivers after all these years), and gives thought as to the current state of electronic laws-disclosure-ethicality. There are different surveillance methods shown by the CIA and NSA in Field Operations.

There are several key moments of memorable dialogue and one-liners (Rhys Ifans & Nicholas Cage), great Visual Efx when the Relationship Matrix is shown to the Movie Viewer. I loved the costumes that each character wore, including the “Lone Ranger” look at the last scene. Each performer was great on their own accord.

Give me a reason

Just like you, I thought this was going to be another Spy Film. But, to the contrary…

  • While performing Film Research and (still) reading the AudioBook, I noticed that several of my favorite performers are in this film: Shailene Woodley (Allegiant series), Zachary Quinto (Agent 47 and this year’s Star Trek Beyond) and Scott Eastwood (Furious 7) appear, as all of them are returning from last Summer’s Screen. With Oliver Stone directing, this was to be a good film.
  • Another reason was this film involved Hawaii, my home state. Some of the local people I chatted with Pre and Post Film had their stories to tell about The Hole/The Tunnel, and they said it didn’t look like the bunker that was used in the film. In fact, the bunker that was supposed to be The Tunnel’s opening is an old WWII bunker located on Kualoa Ranch, as the road to The Tunnel is very long, if you’ve ever driven it, or had a reason to drive down the military road. The Hawaii house scene is actually close to Kunia. The scene of Ed & Lindsay hiking is also another portion of Windward or North Shore of Oahu.
  • Thanks goes out to everyone who worked on the film, especially my pal Chris Wiecking, a friend from college, whose post-production work was also seen in last summer’s Jurassic World. Way to go, Chris!

This film is significant for Mr. Snowden, as of this Hubpage publication, he asked for pardon just 2 days prior to the film’s USA theatrical release. The reason for this is his working agreement with Russia is due to run out shortly (before 2016), so this film is telling his story to the world.

What’s amazing is during President Obama’s time in office, that the Snowden story occurred, the various journalists and documentary filmmaker recorded the events, a Dramatized version of the film was produced, and dissemination to the World, before Obama’s departure.

If you decide to see the film, please stay and watch the “Headlines Roll,” which is current newspaper coverage, from 2013 to May 2015, as President Obama changed some laws regarding the NSA’s illegal wire tapping and electronic laws. I’ll let you see the film, if you are interested in Current Affairs, as I don’t render judgement for the Followers.

Toronto International Film Festival Photo


Release Information

BIM Distribuzione
Esen Entertainment
Open Road Films
San Diego Comic-Con
E Stars Film
Front Row Filmed Entertainment
Shoval Film Production
Teleview International
Universum Film
San Sebastian Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival
A Snowden fajlok
Helsinki International Film Festival
Zurich Film Festival
Hong Kong
London Film Festival

AudioBook TieIn?

In the unabridged version, Nicholas Guy Smith narrates the entire book. It is fitting since his accent gives the book an English feel, as The Guardian is a UK publication. The Unabridged version consists of 8 CDs spanning 10 hours of listening pleasure. This is good if you have a long commute, as I do. BTW, my average time in traffic is 42% of my day!

Here are my thoughts regarding how the Book was adapted into a Screenplay. Some Thematic elements and the Main characterization are pulled from The Snowden Files by Correspondent Luke Harding, along with other reporters at The Guardian. With a slight twist to move the Film along, some of the timeline is edited into bits and pieces, where a part of the past is mixed in with the Reporters’ current timeline (June 2013).

For a more detailed analysis of what exactly was different from the Movie vs. AudioBook, please see my other AudioBook & Movie TieIn reviews.


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Cast & Crew

Lindsay Mills
Shailene Woodley
Trevor James
Scott Eastwood
Nicholas Cage
Edward Snowden
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Timothy Olyphant
Glenn Greenwald
Zachary Quinto
Rhys Ifans
Laura Poitras
Melissa Leo
Ewen MacAskill
Tom Wilkinson

Some Production Notes

Filmed in Bavaria Studios, Munich, Bavaria, Germany.

On-set locations include Germany; Oahu, Hawaii, USA; Moscow, Russia; Washington, DC, USA; Hong Kong, China.

Until the next film review, Pam


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