Winners for Best Documentary Feature CitizenFour Laura Poitras, center, and Dirk Wilutzky, left, give their acceptance speech flanked by Glenn Greenwald at the 87th Oscars Feb. 22, 2015 in Hollywood, Calif.
Robyn Beck—AFP/Getty Images
By Daniel D'Addario
February 23, 2015

One of the most talked-about documentaries in recent memory now has an Oscar to its credit.

Citizenfour, Laura Poitras’s account of her work with NSA leaker Edward Snowden, won the Best Documentary Feature prize, making for an increasingly rare win for a film about a political subject. (The most recent two Best Documentary winners, Searching for Sugar Man and 20 Feet from Stardom, were about underheralded musicians.) Poitras, with journalists from the Washington Post and The Guardian, won a Pulitzer Prize last year for her work in documenting and publicizing Snowden’s revelations about government surveillance of civilians; her film takes the viewer back to the moments immediately before Snowden went public, in which he attempted to evade detection and potential imprisonment and came to terms with the fact that he would never live a normal life again.

“I was a participant as much as a documentarian,” Poitras told TIME when Citizenfour was released. In her speech, Poitras said: “The most important decisions being made in secret affect all of us.”

 

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