CITIZENFOUR: Screening and Q&A With Laura Poitras
Apr 15, 2016

Panelists discussing movie.

YI Leaders Juliana and Gia moderate a Q&A with artist and filmmaker Laura Poitras after a screening of her film CITIZENFOUR. Photograph by Patrick MacLeod

On April 8, Youth Insights (YI) Leaders hosted a screening of the documentary film CITIZENFOUR (2014) followed by a Q&A with the artist and Academy Award-winning director, Laura Poitras. Teens from all over New York City attended the screening and discussion. The film began after a quick introduction by a YI Leader. CITIZENFOUR is a thrilling yet informative film that follows Poitras’s and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s encounters with National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong. Additionally, the film showcases the shocking revelations of the U.S. government spying on its own citizens.

Teen asks question.

YI Leader Shao takes the microphone to ask Poitras a question. Photograph by Patrick MacLeod

After the film, YI Leaders Gia and Julianna led a teen moderated Q&A with Poitras. Many teens were intrigued by the power the government has to spy on its citizens. This led to some thought-provoking questions such as whether Poitras faced any legal ramifications during or after making the film, what the film’s impact was, and what freedom means to her. Poitras stated she was under such extreme surveillance from the U.S. government that she didn't even carry her phone for quite some time. One young man was even concerned that the audience was being surveilled during the Q&A. 

Participants pose for picture with artist.

YI Leaders pose with Laura Poitras after screening and Q&A. Photograph by Patrick MacLeod

Overall, it was an informative night, especially as teens left knowing more about the illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA).

By Anderson, YI Leader