20:58 GMT23 January 2021
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    Snowden, a biographical drama directed by Oliver Stone and based on two books, UK journalist Luke Harding's "The Snowden Files, The Inside Story of the World`s Most Wanted Man" and Russian lawyer's Anatoly Kucherena's "Time of the Octopus," will be released in the US theaters on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Story explores how CIA analyst Edward Snowden leaked thousands of classified documents to the press in order to expose numerous global surveillance programs. The film addresses the lack of transparency that surrounds national security strategies and operations in the United States.

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be starring in the lead role. The Divergent series star Shailene Woodley will play Snowden's girlfriend, Lindsay Mills.

    Whistleblower Edward Snowden says the movie is very close to reality when it comes to politics.

    "On the policy questions, which I think are the most important thing for the public understanding, it’s as close to real as you can get in a film," Snowden told The Financial Times on Friday.

    The whistleblower said that Stone's characterization made him uncomfortable, with the super-deep gravelly voice, but that’s because one never hears own voice the way other people do.

    Snowden's lawyer Kucherena said that the movie left his client deeply touched as he never planned to make his life public.

    "It wouldn't be true to say that Edward [Snowden] is strongly affected by this [Russian] premiere, I would describe his attitude as neutral. He never wanted to make his life public knowledge and he does not enjoy all the attention he is getting," Snowden's lawyer Kucherena said to the film's press office.

    Film's director Stone said that the movie was tackling very important issues like mass surveillance and cyberwarfare.

    "The government lies about it all the time. And what they're doing is illegal, and they keep doing it… What's going on is pretty shocking. This story not only deals with eavesdropping but mass eavesdropping, drones and cyberwarfare… As Snowden said himself the other day, ‘It’s out of control, the world is really out of control,'" Oliver Stone said at the Toronto International Film Festival where "Snowden" was shown.

    Igor Lopatonok, the film's executive producer, told Sputnik that the new movie will make people re-evaluate their views on Internet privacy and social media.

    A chair is pictured on stage as former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is awarded the Bjornson prize Molde, Norway, in this September 5, 2015 file photo
    © REUTERS / Svein Ove Ekornesvaag/NTB Scanpix/Files
    Russia's president spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that a wealth of information revealed by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden is more important than his actions.

    "The most important is not the actions of Snowden, but rather a wealth of information he revealed. The main thing is to understand: earlier everybody was joking that "Big Brother" is watching us and suddenly found out that he is really watching. It is Snowden who gave us the understanding that we are all living in a 'fish tank.' It is much more important than the judgment of what he did," Peskov told reporters.

    Snowden started making revelations about widespread US global surveillance in June 2013. The same year, Russia granted him temporary asylum for one year. In August 2014, Snowden received a three-year residence permit to live in Russia.

    In the United States, he faces up to 30 years in prison on charges of espionage and theft of government property. Snowden repeatedly said he would return to the United States if Washington guaranteed him a fair trial.


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