At this point, even Edward Snowden's supporters are probably sick of seeing that same picture of him that's being used by just about every news outlet. However, whether we like him or not, we cannot deny that Snowden's ordeal has kept people engaged, and now, filmmakers are out to show the world just how compelling his story really is.
Edwin Lee and Shawn Tse have are among the first to jump on the idea of recounting Snowden’s journey from Hawaii to the hotel in Hong Kong where he spoke openly with the Guardian about the specifics of the NSA debacle and his role and motives as a whistleblower. Their short film is, fittingly, entitled Verax, which means "truth teller" in Latin and was Snowden’s internet code name.
The reviews are in! One called the five-minute short film "truly terrible," and a “hastily made and low-budget masterpiece.” While I wouldn't argue — the acting left a a lot to be desired, and the film did not have much substance to it — what exactly would anyone expect out of an amateur film that was put together before the tale has even ended?
One thing the filmmakers did an amazing job of was casting. An English teacher by the name of Andrew Cromeek plays the role of Edward Snowden. Is it just me or does he look almost exactly like the real deal? If I saw this man, I would probably have a bit of a freak-out and snap a ton of photos thinking that it was actually him.
Cromeek didn't come off the streets already looking like the whistleblower. Here is a before-and-after picture of his transformation.
We will likely have to wait a few years before a powerhouse studio puts together an intricately made and action-packed movie about Snowden. For now, we should really commend Lee and Tse for putting together Verax, for making an attempt, and for beating everyone else to the punch. Creating this short film worked to get their names out, and has given people something to yap about and a different image to look at, so this "truly terrible" film was productive after all.
Wanna kill some time? Check it out here.