The prodigal son returns! Tim is back on the show to talk about the big release of September — Oliver Stone’s Snowden. Snowden tells the true story of Edward Snowden, a brilliant mind who rises through the ranks of the CIA only to expose the agency after discovering the government practice of spying on its citizens.

Stone is best known for the controversial films of his past like Platoon, JFKNatural Born Killers, and Born on the Fourth of July. But there’s been little controversy in recent years with his shift toward plainer storytelling. Is Snowden a throwback to his edgier past or another example of his toned-down present?

Join Jon and Tim as they discuss Stone’s filmography, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 1984, the Government, Nicolas Cage, freedom, and whether Snowden is a hero or a traitor.

  • Patti Dolan

    SNOWDEN: After reading both the documentary, with the real Snowden, and then seeing the movie, I feel that he is neither a hero or a traitor. I see him as a whistle blower, whose brilliance thought through very carefully the ramifications of his decision. He planned and executed how he would escape arrest in the USA, and that part was a suspenseful movie by itself. Snowden comes across in his personal life as the typical introvert genius that it takes to get into the CIA. As love often goes, he attracted an extrovert, who stayed loyal throughout, joining him in his assigned relocations across the globe. Her motivations were more suspicious to me than Snowden’s, and I wonder how much her influence affected his risking everything. Did Snowden leak confidential information, defying his contract to keep all things secret within the agency? Yes, he broke the his oath to do so, and from an employee standpoint, that deserved consequences. However, he did it because his conscience could no longer remain loyal to the “illegal searches and seizures, without a court order”, This governmental spying is threatening our privacy in every way imaginable. I see his actions as taking the heat for our protection, while being fully aware that he would lose his. Snowden was not some powerhouse, who reveled in a tell-all. He was a vulnerable citizen, with high emotions about his future, as a young man in his 20’s. Only he can tell us how he feels now, as an alien stuck in Russia for the past few years. We do know that he has sent consistent messages to the US government, offering to exchange his entire files of information, in exchange for freedom from imprisonment. So far, there has been no moves toward granting his request. I certainly don’t pretend to know all the deep ins and outs of such a classified situation. After carefully watching the facts within his story, I am uncomfortable that there isn’t some bridge between both sides of this political coin.

    • The political debate around Snowden is really tough. I see both sides. I’m glad that he revealed the information he did. The government was overstepping their boundaries and needed to stop. Still, I think there were better ways to reveal those secrets that didn’t compromise our government and jeopardize our relationships with other countries. I do wish President Obama had pardoned him though. At some point Russia’s going to hand him over, and it’ll probably end in his execution under our current administration. He deserves consequences, but he doesn’t deserve to die out of patriotic over-reaction.