One of the season's undeniable steamrollers, if there were any, was Laura Poitros' documentary “CITIZENFOUR,” capturing the plight of NSA leaker Edward Snowden and the media firestorm that surrounded his actions in 2013. Snowden has responded to the win via his representatives at the American Civil Liberties Union.
“When Laura Poitras asked me if she could film our encounters, I was extremely reluctant,” he said. “I”m grateful that I allowed her to persuade me. The result is a brave and brilliant film that deserves the honor and recognition it has received. My hope is that this award will encourage more people to see the film and be inspired by its message that ordinary citizens, working together, can change the world.”
The sentiments mirror a theme of socio-politically charged comments from some of the evening's winners. “Boyhood” star Patricia Arquette spoke out about women's rights from the Dolby Theater stage. “The Imitation Game” screenwriter Graham Moore revealed his suicide attempt and spoke on behalf of those who feel like they don't belong. Common talked about social justice across the world while John Legend focused on over-incarceration of American citizens. And in winning Best Picture, “Birdman” director Alejandro González Iñárritu took the moment to highlight political unrest in his native Mexico.
Perfectly timed, “CITIZENFOUR” premieres on HBO Monday night, Feb. 23.