Edward Snowden is still in transit, and there’s already a YouTube “thriller” about him. Of course there is.
Filmmakers in Hong Kong rushed to be the first in the world to release a ‘based on a true story’ narrative about the 30-year-old fugitive NSA leaker, who is still stuck in a Moscow airport, awaiting word from the Russian government about his request for temporary asylum.
The 5-minute film, called “Verax” after the alias Snowden used when contacting journalists with his cache of secret documents, was directed by Jeff Floro, Edwin Lee, Shawn Tse, and Marcus Tsui, and shot in Hong Kong while Snowden was still holed up there, over the course of three days in June, according to a statement posted to YouTube. Just like the rest of us, the filmmakers couldn’t figure out why Snowden picked Hong Kong, of all places, to flee prior to the release of top secret NSA documents that revealed various surveillance program by the U.S. spy agency.
“We are a band of independent and amateur filmmakers in Hong Kong who were both excited and puzzled as to why Snowden chose to come to Hong Kong,” wrote the filmmakers. “While nearly every media outlet wanted to get their hands on him, we decided to produce a short fictional video to depict his experience in HK, and how it would have affected certain parties: Namely, the CIA contingent based in HK who would be tasked to find Snowden.”
As the description implies, the film is meant to be a police thriller, and has an intro that would make J.J. Abrams proud – well, at least, he would give it a knowing chuckle. It’s not that the film is bad, or poorly made, but … okay, yeah, it’s pretty bad. But what what can you say? It was made in three days while the story it’s about was still going down. We’re going to give the filmmakers an A- for effort, and a C+ for execution.
Watch “Verax” below: