• Oliver Stone’s New Movie ‘Snowden’ Tackles the Myth

    September 14, 2016

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, NSA, Post-Constitution America

    snowden


    Snowden is a helluva movie, kicking an audience’s ass on a number of levels. I had a chance to see the film last night at a preview event; it opens everywhere on September 16. Go see it.


    On one level the film presents Snowden’s story as a political thriller. A brave but frightened man, certain he is doing the right thing but worried if he can pull it off, smuggles some of the NSA’s most secret information out of a secure facility. He makes contact with skeptical journalists in Hong Kong, convinces them of the importance of what he has to say, and then goes on the run from a U.S. government out to arrest, or, possibly assassinate, him. In interviews Stone has made clear that he has dramatized and/or altered some events, and that his film is not a documentary. It does keep you on the edge of your beliefs, watching a story you know as if you don’t.


    The next level of the film is a carefully constructed vision of the national security state, seen through Snowden’s eyes. For many Americans, this may be the first time they will react emotionally to the way our government spies on us. It is one thing to “know” the NSA can access webcams at will, it is another to watch a technician “spy” on a Muslim woman undressing in her bedroom.

    When Snowden (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) slaps a piece of tape over his own webcam before an intimate moment with his girlfriend (played by Shailene Woodley), he has the wool taken from his eyes, his trust in government shattered. He is all of us.


    The final level of Snowden is perhaps the most important.

    Director Oliver Stone is in the business of creating counter-myths at critical points in time, and his work is best understood in that context.

    Even as most Americans still believed the myth that while the Vietnam was bad, the warriors were not, Stone showed us the dark side in Platoon. In the 1980s, when making money was seen as the best of America, Stone gave us Wall Street, and turned the myth “greed is good” from an instructional line out of an MBA program to a condemnation of how we all suffered when the bubble broke in the financial markets.

    And so with Snowden, which makes clear the myth of a benign national security (“nothing to hide, nothing to fear,” they’re the good guys protecting us) is anything but. The NSA and other agencies want to vacuum it all up, every communication, everywhere. They then move on to controlling our communications; the movie illustrates the depth of NSA’s penetration into the Japanese electrical grid by imagining a black out of Tokyo, and shows us how an NSA technical mistake reveals how they could shut down the Internet across the Middle East.

    In what is the most Oliver Stone-like scene in perhaps any of his movies, Snowden’s CIA boss confronts him, suspicious of wrongdoing. Their video conference discussion starts with Snowden at one end of the table, the boss’ face on a monitor at the other. As the scene unfolds and the intensity increases, Snowden moves closer to the screen until his head is a small dot, and the boss’ face takes over the audience’s whole field of view. The government itself has morphed into Big Brother before your eyes.


    For many aware viewers, a lot of this may seem old hat — of course the NSA is doing all that.

    But imagine the impact of Snowden. Thoughts that have largely been laid out only on blogs and left-of-center, non-main stream media, are now in suburban multiplexes, all carefully wrapped inside a thriller Tom Clancy fans will enjoy.

    You can’t get much more radical than that.






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    Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

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  • Recent Comments

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      1

      Of course, using facial recognition, NSA will monitor every theater, thereby putting anyone who sees the movie, on a “potential” terrorist list. It’s a wonder Oliver Stone was able to make this movie. He’s got to already be on some kind of list cause I’m sure, “someone” in the USG hates his guts as much as they hate Snowden.

      Meanwhile, I’m hoping this movie will open the eyes of the Dumbest Country on the Planet. But I’m not holding my breath. After all.. teh deplorables.

      09/14/16 5:57 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      2

      Speaking of deplorables, get this.

      The Saudi’s just took delivery of some Chinese drones. They bought Chinese because the USG refused to sell ours to them…because…

      quote”…. the United States has, as a matter of policy, refused to sell killer drones to Saudi Arabia. Recipients of U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles “are to use these systems in accordance with international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law,” the U.S. State Department explained in a 2015 statement.”unquote

      Are to use these systems in accordance with international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law. right.

      BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…HAHAHAHAHA… HOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO.. HAHAHAHA.. HAHA….HA…

      Says the US State Department…

      .HAHAHAHAHA… HOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO.. HAHAHAHA.. HAHA….HA…

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/09/14/now-the-saudis-have-killer-drones-too.html?google_editors_picks=true

      I don’t know how these lying sack of shit DOS motherfuckers keep a straight face. They redefine the word… deplorables.

      Peter..I’m sorry for posting things irrelevant to your subject.. but in this case, I just couldn’t help myself.

      09/14/16 6:07 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      3

      Hey Peter… was there any “petition” you could sign at the theater? You know which one I’m talking about.

      09/14/16 6:10 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      4

      09/14/16 12:28 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      5

      Oh for fucks sake. I didn’t mean the one to pardon Snowden. I meant the one to prosecute the entire NSA. You know.. for espionage.. on the American people. Fucking criminals.

      09/14/16 6:12 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      6

      Pitch, you are joking that this movie will open the eyes of the DUMBEST COUNTRY ON THE PLANET, right?

      We didn’t need Ed Snowden(anagram: DENSE DOWN) to tell US what most intelligent people already knew: dumbass Americans don’t care. This is prison state of our making. The movie makes the point that it’s a conspiracy we have all, naively, colluded in, frittering away our privacy through our addiction to technology.

      Keep your SMART PHONES, morons. It’s the only intelligent thing you have going for you.

      09/14/16 9:16 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      7

      I have no idea who Stone thinks will be an audience. I think empire types will take a pass. I can’t see Colin Powell buying tickets to see the film. By the way he called Trump a national disgrace. Like they say- it takes one to know one. I think Powell has a working model on his desk of one of those mobile biological labs. It’s a converted Mr. Softee truck retrofitted with menacing canisters which deliver a blast of cool whip which he eagerly ingests.

      09/14/16 9:54 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      8

      Snowden’s a hero.

      09/14/16 11:08 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      9

      “I have no idea who Stone thinks will be an audience.”

      History classes around the world will watch it – not in the US where it will be outlawed – studying the Rise and Fall of the New Rome -the United States.

      09/14/16 11:15 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      10

      rich bauer said…

      “Pitch, you are joking that this movie will open the eyes of the DUMBEST COUNTRY ON THE PLANET, right? ”

      You missed the part about not holding my breath.
      In the meantime, I’ll never see it myself.. unless it comes out on Netflix. I haven’t been to a theater in thirty years. And the closest one here is 30 miles away. It wouldn’t play there anyway. It’s in the land that time forgot. The latest flick they show is some Disney film from 2012.
      Speaking of the DCOTP, the people in the town I live in are so dumb it’s pathetic. No one, and I mean NO one who I’ve mentioned Snowden or the NSA, had ever heard of either. The heart of the DCOTP is the county I live in. sheeezus.

      09/14/16 12:12 PM | Comment Link

    • Helen Marshall said...

      11

      When Hillary and Toria and the rest of the gang have finished working us over, there may not be any history classes anywhere, except in a few caves.

      Suggest we all re-watch Dr. Strangelove after viewing this one.

      09/14/16 12:16 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      12

      Snowden better get his pardon from Obama because Hillarious asks too much, that conniving bitch – according to Powell:

      https://theintercept.com/2016/09/13/colin-powell-emails/

      09/14/16 1:06 PM | Comment Link

    • Helen Marshall said...

      13

      What a great line from that article – kinda says it all:

      Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.”

      09/14/16 2:18 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      14

      Bauer- I don’t see Obama pardoning Snowden. He most likely will pardon Bergdahl since he conveniently used Bergdahl in a shady prisoner swap to burnish his legacy of not leaving “one of our own” behind. Snowden is an enemy to the American plutocracy which Obama worships and has always wanted to join.

      09/14/16 6:08 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      15

      John Poole said…

      ”Snowden is an enemy to the American plutocracy which Obama worships and has always wanted to join.”

      DING DING DING!!! Johnny… we have a winner! And what prize he has won!! An all expenses paid trip to.. you got it.. GUANTANAMO!!! Congratulations to our contestant!!

      09/14/16 8:00 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      16

      Helen Marshall said…

      “What a great line from that article – kinda says it all:

      Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.”

      I’d submit Ray McGovern has a different take. In fact, I’d bet he’d spit in Clintons face..given a chance.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ir1j1dkSFg

      09/14/16 8:07 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      17

      John Poole said…

      “He most likely will pardon Bergdahl since he conveniently used Bergdahl in a shady prisoner swap to burnish his legacy of not leaving “one of our own” behind.”

      Naw.. it’s too late in his last few months in office. Besides, the DCOTP doesn’t have a clue who Bergdahl is. What he WILL do, is pardon.. CLINTON. After all.. the emailgate isn’t over yet.

      09/14/16 8:12 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      18

      Update! Clinton’s personal physician has said, “Hillary is fit to serve as President. What wasn’t mentioned was a 6 point fine print disclaimer on the backside edge stating ,” for a few weeks at least but not much longer…”

      Pitch I’ve been told that the blindfold used during my rendering to Gitmo is so I can sleep on the daylight flight.

      09/14/16 8:14 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      19

      Trump is physically fit to run this country. Like most of US he’s overweight, eats junk food daily, his cholesterol level is so high that the fat cells are replacing his brain cells, and the only exercise he gets is when he runs his mouth.

      09/14/16 11:16 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      20

      rich bauer said…
      “….and the only exercise he gets is when he runs his mouth.”

      Unfortunately..IF he is elected, he’ll run that mouth to use foreign policy to make BILLIONS. Read this and tell me Trump can’t become a dictator.

      http://www.newsweek.com/2016/09/23/donald-trump-foreign-business-deals-national-security-498081.html

      At least there’s one nation that raises their middle finger to his demands…

      http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article101656692.html

      As for Snowdens “pardon”, some lawyer schmuck who worked for the Surveillance State as a “privacy oversight dude”(which he FAILED at.. hence Snowden) , has just signed the letter to petition Obama for a pardon. Unfortunately, his reasoning is standard fucking, authoritarian thinking, as he still thinks Snowden is a traitor..but the US should pardon him, just to get this whole surveillance “debate” over with..you know.. for the “good of the nation”

      http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article101656692.html

      What a crock. Someone needs to kick this guy right in the balls.

      09/15/16 5:39 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      21

      ps…
      rich bauer said…

      “Trump is physically fit to run this country. Like most of US he’s overweight, …”

      That’s an understatement. From the China link above…

      quote..
      “It was May of 2009, and Donald Trump’s team had arrived in China with precious cargo: 300 pounds of Donald Trump.

      They should have said 300 pounds of Shit with a mouth.

      09/15/16 5:46 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      22

      Killery/FatLies1016

      09/15/16 8:08 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      23

      “The government itself has morphed into Big Brother before your eyes.”

      Of course, the powers that be would never use these powers to go after the elite criminals among US. It’s only designed to keep the ordinary people in check.

      http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/296083-donald-trump-jr-defends-fathers-decision-not-to-release

      09/15/16 10:10 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      24

      Is it true that next week will start revelations on Killery released! Thank God if so (I am an atheist).

      09/15/16 3:37 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      25

      You can be sure the revelations about Hillarious will not involve her Wall Street bosses:

      http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/elizabeth_warren_demands_investigation_into_president_obamas_20160915

      09/15/16 5:34 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      26

      What stocks do they make a market in?

      09/15/16 7:27 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      27

      Alright folks. In regards to the point of Peter’s blog post at this point in time, here is the final relative decree by our scum sucking government….

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/09/15/bipartisan-house-intelligence-committee-report-says-snowden-no-hero/90429740/

      Edward,.. as a citizen of the United States of Depravity, I’m afraid the powers that be in your birthplace, have decided to burn you alive if they could. Please understand there are millions of people out here who agree with your trajectory of conscience, and support you with all their soul. Unfortunately, your’s and our fate has been cast by virtue of the reality of Revelations. Make no mistake.. your choice of actions, have changed the world dynamic, but the inability of mankinds leaders to comprehend their own morality has already dictated their demise in this universe. Thank you for what you gave me. Be well, enjoy what you have, for tomorrow is going to become a nightmare for the human race.

      09/15/16 8:01 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      28

      Hope all are going to the theater today for opening of Snowden. Tell friends,family and enemys for the people.

      09/16/16 8:34 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      29

      The biggest revelation is that the biggest plague on the earth is US. It was US that allowed the rampant speculation on Wall Street that caused the Great Depression, which ruined the world’s economy and created the conditions in Germany that Hitler took advantage. It was US that destroyed what little stability there was in Iraq that created the conditions for ISIS to form, forcing the mass migration of refugees to Europe, creating racial animosity that is fostering right-wing extremism and mini-Mouselini’s like Trump. Snowden’s revelation of the NSA-Gestapo spying on US is no real concern for most Americans, just as the ruling “educated” class in Nazi Germany was unconcerned about Der Fuehrer. History does repeat itself: First Amerika, then the World.”

      09/16/16 11:02 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      30

      Yes, Hillarious, we ARE exceptional.

      09/16/16 11:05 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      31

      09/16/16 11:08 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      32

      09/16/16 11:15 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      33

      Get to the theaters. The movie is “Exceptionalism”!

      09/16/16 4:59 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      34

      Will the Democrats get in the streets and protest like they did when Bush was in office if Hillary is elected? Will they get in the streets (after absence of over 7 years since “O’ has been in office)? Will they get in the streets and protest our Government if Trump is elected?

      09/16/16 5:32 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      35

      No matter who is elected I will be in DC for days for the Jan. 20th Celebration. Hope you and others will join to be part of the Inauguration for Truth. There hopefully be a protest for the Exceptionalism of what Snowden did. Pardon Snowden .Release the Torture report. Truth is good.

      09/16/16 5:37 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      36

      Free Chelsea Manning. Did she show the truth to be famous? Did Snowden and others? Rather than slogans such as “You can’t handle the truth” and “Yes, We Can,” educate, organize, agitate, and spread the truth, or get the phuck out of my country. Have a nice night!

      09/16/16 7:21 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      37

      Just made a few comments but deleted them. No worry, they are saved for security. Pardon Snowden and others.

      09/16/16 10:00 PM | Comment Link

    • Why the Snowden the Movie Matters – Antiwar.com Blog said...

      38

      […] reviewed Oliver Stone’s movie Snowden elsewhere, and it’s well worth seeing just as a movie. But of course the issues brought up by […]

      10/6/16 9:46 AM | Comment Link

    • Why the Snowden the Movie Matters said...

      39

      […] reviewed Oliver Stone’s movie Snowden elsewhere, and it’s well worth seeing just as a movie. But of course the issues brought up by […]

      10/6/16 3:15 PM | Comment Link

    • Why the Snowden the Movie Matters | Michigan Standard said...

      40

      […] reviewed Oliver Stone’s movie Snowden elsewhere, and it’s well worth seeing just as a movie. But of course the issues brought up by […]

      10/7/16 3:01 AM | Comment Link

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