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Should I stop posting my life on the internet? A film review of Snowden


One could say I am a serial internet poster. My online footprint could be found by even the most novice of searchers but for the first time last night, I questioned my love affair with all things online and breathed a deep sigh of “what has our world become?”. Edward Snowden, has confused us.

My husband and I were invited to the State Premiere of Snowden, at Luna cinemas, Leederville. The movie opens nationwide this Thursday, 22nd of September and is one of the best movie releases this side of Christmas.

Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone seamlessly combined the real life footage of Edward Snowden, a polarising global figure, who mid-2013 took down the American government, with a documentary team and the guardian media from a Hong Kong hotel room.

Snowden, an everyday, boring, computer geek, uncovered a glitch in his personal integrity whilst consulting in his role for the NSA. He slowly realised that the work he was employed for, was secretly enabling the American Government, to spy on everyday citizens, without their knowledge.

He is considered a real time hero for some and a national security traitor for others. Snowden now lives in exile in Moscow, Russia. The film had us enthralled from beginning to end.

As we watched this true story unfold, we uncomfortably turned off our phones and disconnected our entangled lives online. Across the cinema, I saw phone after phone being turned off, as people realised the intrinsic nature of our online search ability.

We drove home and took a deep breath from the intense story of our culture, and reconsidered our opinion of this story of an everyday hero.

Maybe it is okay that our security and lives are monitored for safety, protection?

Wait, what, our every move is monitored and weighed, sifted, by the government?

The discussion in our car was brilliantly confusing.

No matter which side of the fence you sit, this film will leave you reconsidering how you interact online and the culture of the world that we live in. I’m not sure if I am ready to call Snowden my hero yet, but I am thankful that he has made me engage in a conversation that matters around our online culture and the pervasiveness of its impact.

This is sure to be a film must see this Spring and one you will want to buy a pack of band-aids for!

Amanda Viviers

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