Is the Snowden Movie A True Story?

The new Snowden movie has everyone talking. But is it a true story? We explore the events that inspired the film and what really happened.

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Is the Snowden movie a true story? The answer may surprise you. The film dramatizes real events that took place in 2013, when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified information about the agency’s mass surveillance program to journalists.

While the movie is based on true events, it takes some liberties with the facts. For example, in the film, Snowden is shown meeting with journalist Glenn Greenwald in a hotel room in Hong Kong. In reality, Greenwald was contacted by another journalist, Laura Poitras, who introduced him to Snowden through an encrypted chat program.

The film also portrays Snowden as having a romantic relationship with his girlfriend, Lindsay Mills. In reality, the couple were not dating at the time of the leak; they had broken up several months earlier.

Despite these liberties, the film is generally accurate when it comes to its portrayal of events. If you’re interested in learning more about what really happened, we recommend checking out the book “The Snowden Files” by journalist Luke Harding.

The Snowden Movie

The Snowden movie is a biographical thriller about the life of NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked classified information about the agency’s mass surveillance programs. The movie was directed by Oliver Stone and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Snowden.

The film was released in 2016 to mixed reviews, with some critics praising its accuracy and others faulting it for being too sympathetic to Snowden. So, is the Snowden movie a true story?

For the most part, yes. The movie is based on two books about Snowden: “Jump Right In: Edward Snowden’s Story” by Luke Harding, and “Time of the OCTOPUS” by Anatoly Kucherena.

Stone spoke to multiple people close to Snowden while researching the film, and many of the events shown in the movie are drawn from real life. However, some aspects of the story were fictionalized or simplified for dramatic effect.

Overall, the Snowden movie is a fairly accurate portrayal of Edward Snowden’s life and the events leading up to his decision to leak classified information.

The True Story

The film Snowden, directed by Oliver Stone, hit theatres on September 16, 2016. The movie is based on the events surrounding the 2013 release of classified information by NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

But how accurate is the film?

Stone spent two years researching the material for the movie, and while he took some liberties with certain aspects of the story, he was mostly true to the events as they actually happened.

For example, one scene in the movie shows Snowden’s girlfriend Lindsay Mills (played by Shailene Woodley) reading a letter from him in which he apologizes for not being able to tell her what he’s doing or where he is.

“I wish I could tell you more,” he writes. “I know this must be very confusing and painful for you. I also know that no matter what happens from here I want you to remember that I always tried to do the right thing — even if at times it may have seemed wrong.”

In reality, Snowden did write a similar letter to Mills before his disappearance, which she later published on her blog.

The Characters

The movie Snowden is based on the true story of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The film follows his life from his early days working for the CIA to his eventual decision to leak classified information to the press.

Snowden is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and the cast also includes Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, and Scott Eastwood.

The Plot

The movie starts in 2013 with Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) working for the National Security Agency (NSA) as a contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton. He is shown meeting his girlfriend Lindsay Mills (Shailene Woodley) and talking about moving to Hawaii.

Snowden is then approached by CIA agent Brutus (Rhys Ifans) and NSA supervisor Corbin O’Brian (Nicholas Cage) about a special project. The project requires Snowden to go to Hong Kong and meet with another CIA agent, Harry Hansen (Zachary Quinto).

Once in Hong Kong, Snowden meets Hansen and gives him classified information about the NSA’s surveillance programs. This includes details about “PRISM”, a program that allows the NSA to collect data from companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.

After meeting with Hansen, Snowden is taken to a safe house by American journalist Glenn Greenwald (played by himself). Greenwald meets with Snowden and decides to publish his story in the Guardian newspaper.

The movie then jumps ahead to 2014, where we see Snowden in Russia under asylum. He is living in an apartment with Mills and trying to adjust to his new life. The movie ends with a montage of real footage from 2013, including President Barack Obama’s speeches about surveillance and privacy.[1]

The Setting

The new movie “Snowden” is based on the true story of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The film follows his journey from joining the CIA to becoming one of the most wanted men in the world. But how accurate is the movie?

Here’s a look at the real story behind “Snowden.”

The movie is set in 2013, but much of Snowden’s story takes place in 2007. That’s when he was working for the CIA as a technical assistant. He was stationed in Geneva, Switzerland, where he had access to classified information.

In the movie, Snowden grows increasingly disillusioned with the CIA’s surveillance methods. He eventually contacts journalist Glenn Greenwald and documentarian Laura Poitras to leak classified information about the NSA’s spying program.

The movie accurately portrays Snowden’s decision to leak information. In an interview with The Guardian, Greenwald said that Snowden was “100% certain” that he wanted to go public with the information.

However, there are some significant changes in the timeline of events in the movie. For instance, in reality, Poitras met Snowden before Greenwald did. And Greenwald didn’t meet Snowden face-to-face until after he had already leaked the information.


The Snowden movie is based on the true story of former CIA employee Edward Snowden, who leaked classified information about the US government’s surveillance programs to the media. The film explores the themes of government transparency, cyber warfare, and privacy. While the movie is fiction, it is based on true events and provides an interesting perspective on one of the most controversial figures in recent history.

The Controversy

The movie Snowden, directed by Oliver Stone and released in 2016, tells the story of Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who became a whistleblower after leaking classified information about the United States government’s mass surveillance programs.

The film was met with mixed reviews, with some critics praising its portrayal of Snowden and the US government’s surveillance program, while others criticized it for its accuracy.

Snowden himself has said that the film is “mostly fiction”, and that while it captures the “essence” of his story, it also takes some “significant liberties”.

The Aftermath

The highly anticipated movie “Snowden” was finally released in September of 2016. It covers the events that took place leading up to, during, and after the NSA leaks that were orchestrated by Edward Snowden. The film has been praised by some for its accurate portrayal of these events, while others have criticized it for taking too many liberties with the truth. So, what really happened?


Though Oliver Stone’s film Snowden purports to be based on a true story, there are significant differences between the film and reality. The most glaring of these is the suggestion that Snowden was more interested in manufacturing a “police state” than he was in protecting American freedoms. In reality, though he has been critical of certain government policies, Snowden has said that he believes in democracy and that his primary motivation was to protect Americans’ right to privacy.

Other inaccuracies include the film’s portrayal of Snowden’s relationship with his girlfriend, Lindsay Mills. In the movie, their relationship is shown as being contentious and on the verge of breaking up; in reality, they remained close throughout Snowden’s time working for the NSA and were still together at the time of his departure from the United States.

Overall, while Snowden is an entertaining film, it should not be taken as a true account of the events it depicts.

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