Laura Poitras and Betty Medsger in studio discussing the documentary 1971.

1971 Followup: A Conversation with Laura Poitras and Betty Medsger

May 19, 2015 by Independent Lens in

Laura Poitras won an Academy Award for CitizenFour, her film about Edward Snowden, who leaked classified information from the National Security Agency to the mainstream media and is now living in exile abroad. Betty Medsger wrote the book The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, and was a reporter at The Washington Post who first received the COINTELPRO files from the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI. Medsger and Poitras are both important parts of Johanna Hamilton’s film 1971, which just premiered on Independent Lens: Medsger is featured in the film while Poitras was an executive producer. In a video exclusive for Independent Lens, Hamilton sat down for a conversation with both women, about protecting sources, the impact the Snowden revelations had on Medsger’s book, and things that shocked them about the 1971 story.

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