Snowden honors the peaceful revolution in Leipzig
Edward Snowden sent a personal video message to DOK Leipzig for the Festival’s opening ceremony yesterday (Monday). In the opening film CITIZENFOUR, the US-American filmmaker Laura Poitras revealed the unfolding of the NSA scandal, following Edward Snowden closely from the first disclosures.
The film celebrated its German premiere at DOK Leipzig after screenings in New York and London. For the first time, the NSA whistleblower recorded a video message for the Leipzig premiere. “(…) Because your history is an inspiration to me. It’s critical that we remember the lessons from history. And Leipzig reminded us that the wall and the GDR didn’t go down because of bombs or guns or violent resistance. It was brought down by ordinary people on the streets in the square on Mondays”, Snowden said in the 90-second message (full text on page 2).
Festival director Claas Danielsen took up the subject in his opening speech: “Freedom is an elementary theme. It accompanies us through life, and through this Festival, too.”
Read the full text here:
"I´ve never agreed to do an introduction to this film. Not in the UK, not in the US – not in New York or San Francisco or anything like that. But when somebody asked me if I would do it for Leipzig, I said yes and that`s because your history is an inspiration to me. Its`s critical that we remember the lessons from history. And Leipzig reminded us that the wall and the GDR didn`t go down because of bombs or guns or violent resistance. It was brought down by ordinary people on the streets in the square on Mondays. Ordinary people against extraordinary powers reminded us that the legitimacy of governments is derived from this consent of the people that they are governing. And today when that principle is so often forgotten, we have so many governments, even in liberal democracies, western democracies, not just authoritarian regimes, that so frequently favor tactics of deception and secrecy we do remember that the consent of the government is only meaningful if it`s informed.
Thank you and I hope you enjoy the film."