Published Sep 27, 2016With its over-the-top musical choices and melodramatic plot, Oliver Stone's Snowden was something of a disappointment. Despite its flaws, however, the film still managed to piss off the National Security Agency.
NPR [via Guardian] reached out to Chris Inglis, a former deputy director of the NSA, for his opinions of the film.
As could be expected, Inglis was not too stoked on the NSA's portrayal in the flick. He called it "a gross mischaracterisation of what NSA's purposes are. And a gross exaggeration of Edward Snowden's own particular role in that. To the point where you could come away from looking at that movie, saying, 'Why are 50,000 people at the NSA dead wrong? And one is absolutely correct?'"
Inglis, who retired in 2014, is briefly depicted in the film by Patrick Joseph Byrnes. In the scene, the deputy director reaches out to Edward Snowden, offering him an important mission in Hawaii. Accord to Inglis, the scene was "preposterous." He says he never even met Snowden.
"That a deputy director would reach down to a contractor – who's performing an important but relatively low-level function – and ask them to take on a Jason Bourne-like activity? It simply exceeds all propriety."
Ultimately, Inglis blames Snowden's flaws on Stone for adding too much sensationalism. "Dramatisation to me means you add the occasional exclamation point," he said. "You bring in a musician to perhaps add some background music. But you don't tell a story that is fiction."