The script for this film is based on the books The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena. Snowdon began his career in Special Forces but he had weak leg bones and fractured both legs. He moved to a job with the CIA in Virginia and his computer talents were discovered. Snowdon starts to wonder about the ethics of spying on this country’s own citizens under the pretense of national security. He feels burned out by his job and the extra burden of not being able to discuss anything about the work he does.
It’s possible that if Edward Snowdon didn’t exist, director Oliver Stone could have invented him for this film? The reason that Snowdon left his career behind is because he became so disillusioned with the depth of the deceit of this country in computer spying. I found the story to be too long and how many scenes does there need to be of Snowden on a computer? It is rather disconcerting that the government could be watching you through the camera on your own computer? I wonder how many people have placed something over the lens opening after seeing this film? Joseph Gordon-Levitt inhabits his character and he even resembles him. I didn’t know that Snowdon had seizures from epilepsy and he was on medication for a while but found it overtaking him too much. There is a plethora of information online with anything you ever wanted to know about Snowdon.
134 min, Bio directed by Oliver Stone with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Jaymes Butler, Robert Firth, Rachel Handshaw, Christian Conteras, Parker Sawyers, Rhys Ifans, Nicholas Cage.
Note: Imdb 7.3 out of 10, 61% critic 71% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3*, Amazon 4.5* out of 5* with 1033 reviews, Rolling Stone 2* out of 5*.
Special Note: Filmed in Bavaria, Germany; Moscow, Russia; Hong Kong, China; Tokyo, Japan; Oahu and Waipahu, Hawaii and Washington D.C. The real Edward Snowden told Oliver Stone that the NSA’s command centers are on tight budgets and not as glamorous as shown in movies and on TV. Joseph Gordon-Levitt pledged to donate his salary to facilitate the conversation between technology and democracy. Snowdon’s parents said this portrayal of their son was the most meaningful encouragement he has ever received.