Add Oscar to awards for Snowden reports

Even Tinseltown gets the importance of the Edward Snowden leaks.

At the Academy Awards Sunday night, Hollywood’s finest gave an Oscar to Laura Poitras for “Citizenfour,” her documentary about Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, and his decision to hand over secret documents revealing secret and widespread government surveillance. Poitras’ film edged out four other contenders in the feature-length documentary category.

The trophy is only the latest for Poitras and frequent collaborator Glenn Greenwald, who starred in “Citizenfour” and has broken many of the biggest stories based on the Snowden documents. In fact, since they first started reporting on the Snowden documents in May 2013, the pair have assembled something like a journalistic equivalent of the mythical EGOT. Instead of winning an Emmy, Grammy and Tony awards in addition to an Oscar, Poitras and Greenwald have won a Polk Award and a Pulitzer Prize, two of journalism’s highest honors.

In her acceptance speech, Poitras praised Snowden for his courage and the work of journalists like Greenwald “who are exposing truth.”

In a statement, Snowden said he’d initially been reluctant to have Poitras film his meeting with her and Greenwald, but he’s happy she convinced him to do so.

“The result is a brave and brilliant film that deserves the honor and recognition it has received,” Snowden said. “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.”

“Citizenfour” is Poitras’ third film related to the War on Terror and its aftermath.

Photo: Poitras gives her acceptance speech after winning an Oscar for best feature-length documentary at the Academy Awards Sunday night as Dirk Wilutzky (left), the film’s co-producer, and Greenwald (right) look on. (Robyn Beck, AFP Photo/Getty Images).

 

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