This isn’t just a documentary—this is history. Laura Poitras, who recorded the fallout from 9/11 in her features My Country, My Country (2006) and The Oath (2010), was approached in 2013 by an anonymous e-mail correspondent who claimed to have sensitive documents pertaining to national security. Ultimately this overture led to her and journalist Glenn Greenwald conferring for several days in a Hong Kong hotel room with computer contractor Edward Snowden as he prepared to disclose to the press classified NSA documents about the U.S. intelligence community’s sweeping surveillance of American citizens. Poitras recorded these meetings on video, and the resulting documentary explodes every myth about Snowden that the conservative media have labored to construct; he comes across as a calm, serious, self-effacing, and utterly responsible individual who’s prepared to sacrifice much of what he holds dear in order to expose the truth about our burgeoning surveillance state.