Edward Snowden’s Long, Strange Journey to Hollywood
The summer light was fading to gold near Red Square as Oliver Stone maneuvered through the lobby bar of a five-star Moscow hotel last year. He walked past the marble staircase and the grand piano to a table in the back. A group of businessmen in suits lingered nearby. Stone grimaced.
去年夏天，阳光在红场(Red Square)附近慢慢褪成金色，奥利弗·斯通(Oliver Stone)穿过莫斯科一家五星级酒店的大堂酒吧。他走过大理石楼梯和一架三角钢琴，来到后面的一张桌子边。一群穿着西装的商人在附近徘徊。斯通露出一丝苦笑。
“I think we should move,” he said. His producer, Moritz Borman, led the way to another corner. “How’s this?” Borman asked.
Stone didn’t answer. He eyed an older couple slurping soup and kept moving. A moment later, Stone finally settled in by a window, comfortably beyond earshot of the other patrons.
Such security precautions had become routine. Ever since Stone decided to make a biopic about Edward Snowden, the American whistle-blower currently holed up in Moscow somewhere, the director — who became a Buddhist while making “Heaven & Earth” and sampled a buffet of psychedelic drugs for “The Doors” — had gone all method again. On “Snowden,” he and Borman became so preoccupied with American government surveillance that they had their Los Angeles offices swept for bugs more than once.
这样的安全防范已经成为常规做法。这位导演在拍摄《天与地》(Heaven & Earth)时成了佛教徒，为了拍摄《门》(The Doors)而尝试各种迷幻剂。自从他决定拍摄一部关于爱德华·斯诺登（Edward Snowden，这位美国泄密者目前藏身在莫斯科）的传记片，斯通再一次用尽一切办法。为了拍摄《斯诺登》，他和博尔曼特别担心美国政府的监听，不止一次全面检查他们在洛杉矶的办公室是否被安装了窃听器。
The director hadn’t been sleeping well. Principal photography wrapped a month earlier, and now Stone had come to Moscow to film Snowden for the movie’s grand finale. He ordered a decaf coffee and began to lay out the events that led him and Borman to be hanging out in Russian hotels, on the lookout for potential spies. “Last January, Moritz calls me,” Stone said. “He says: ‘You got a call from this fella who represents Mr. Snowden. You’re invited to Moscow.’ ”
The call had come from Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden’s Russian lawyer. In the course of his career, Kucherena has represented Russian oligarchs, film directors, a few pop singers and a state minister. In 2012, he campaigned for Vladimir V. Putin, and soon after Snowden landed in Moscow, Kucherena showed up at Sheremetyevo Airport and offered his services. Then Kucherena wrote a novel about his new client. Titled “Time of the Octopus,” it follows a National Security Agency leaker named Joshua Cold who is marooned in the airport and the Russian advocate who liberates him. In January 2014, months before the book was published, Kucherena called Borman to see if Stone might like to make it into a Hollywood movie.
电话是斯诺登的俄罗斯律师阿纳托利·库切列纳(Anatoly Kucherena)打来的。库切列纳代理过俄罗斯寡头、电影导演、几位流行歌手和一位政府部长。2012年，他曾为弗拉基米尔·V·普京(Vladimir V. Putin)助选；斯诺登在莫斯科落地之后不久，库切列纳出现在谢列梅捷沃机场(Sheremetyevo)，主动提出担任他的律师。然后，库切列纳写了一本关于他的新客户的小说。小说名叫《章鱼时间》(Time of the Octopus)，讲述的是一个名叫乔舒亚·科尔德(Joshua Cold)的美国国家安全局(National Security Agency)泄密者以及当在他在机场孤立无援时解救他的俄罗斯支持者。2014年1月，该书出版前几个月，库切列纳给博尔曼致电，询问斯通是否愿意把它拍成好莱坞电影。
“And I know you from working on, what, three films?” Stone said at the bar.
“Five,” Borman said.
At the time, Stone and Borman were barely speaking after a falling-out during the making of “Savages,” a beachy Blake Lively thriller. “We’ve had our fights,” Stone said. “You know, he’s German; I’m American.” He didn’t elaborate.
“He calls, and I go: ‘Oh, [expletive]. Not again,’ ” Stone continued. It wasn’t just about Borman. Stone wanted nothing to do with another political docudrama. He spent two decades trying to get a biopic about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. off the ground, only to see “Selma” get made to critical acclaim. Then there was the My Lai massacre film. Merrill Lynch put up cash, Bruce Willis was set to star and Stone built an entire village in Thailand. As the economy collapsed in 2008, the financing evaporated. “You get these scars, and they don’t go away,” Stone said.
“他打来电话，我说：‘哦，[咒骂]。怎么又来了，’”斯通继续说道。不只是因为博尔曼。斯通丝毫不想再拍一部政治纪实故事片。他花了20年时间，想要拍摄一部关于牧师小马丁·路德·金博士(Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)的传记电影，结果却看到《塞尔玛》(Selma)已经拍好并且获得好评。然后是关于美莱村大屠杀的电影。美林银行(Merrill Lynch)提供资金，布鲁斯·威利斯(Bruce Willis)已确定主演，斯通还在泰国建了一整座村子。然后，2008年经济崩溃，资金蒸发了。“你有过这些伤疤，它们不会消失，”斯通说。
So Stone was skeptical. But this was Snowden, who single-handedly exposed the colossal scale on which the United States had been surveilling its citizens. Plus, the director needed a hit. After early successes like “Platoon” and “Wall Street,” his more recent films didn’t receive the attention he hoped. The Snowden story had all the ingredients of an epic Stone picture: politics, government conspiracy and, at the center of it all, an American patriot who had lost faith. If it panned out, it could be Stone’s millennial follow-up to “Born on the Fourth of July,” the Ron Kovic biopic that won him an Oscar in 1990.
所以斯通有点怀疑。不过，这可是斯诺登啊，他凭一己之力曝光了美国政府针对其公民的规模庞大的监视活动。另外，这位导演需要拍一部成功的影片。在《野战排》(Platoon)和《华尔街》(Wall Street)等早期成功之后，他较新的影片没有获得他期望的关注。斯诺登的故事具备斯通史诗影片的所有元素：政治、政府阴谋，以及最核心的、一位失去信仰的美国爱国者。如果成功，它可能成为那部关于罗恩·科维奇(Ron Kovic)的传记片《生于七月四日》(Born on the Fourth of July)在千禧世代的续篇。1990年，斯通凭借该片获得了奥斯卡奖。
But first Stone and Borman had to make sure Kucherena was for real. Borman asked the lawyer to send the book and two first-class tickets to Moscow. Both arrived the next day. In case they still had doubts, Kucherena’s office gave Borman a number to call. On the other end was an employee of the Russian consulate in San Francisco, who turned out to be a big fan of “The Life of David Gale,” a film Borman produced. They were issued visas that same week. (Kucherena denies buying first-class tickets for Stone and Borman or helping expedite their visas.)
不过，斯通和博尔曼首先需要确定库切列纳是认真的。博尔曼让这位律师寄来书以及两张飞往莫斯科的头等舱机票。书和机票第二天就到了。库切列纳的办公室还给了博尔曼一个电话号码，以防他们还有疑虑。接电话的是俄罗斯驻旧金山领事馆的一名雇员，这名雇员碰巧还是博尔曼制作的电影《大卫·戈尔的一生》(The Life of David Gale)的狂热粉丝。他们当周就拿到了签证（库切列纳否认给斯通和博尔曼购买头等舱机票或帮助他们快速拿到签证）。
“When that happened,” Borman said, “I thought, O.K., I guess Kucherena can pull the strings.”
As real-life narratives go, Snowden’s is a compelling one. His transformation from a shy and pale 20-something — full of the sort of idealism those years can afford — to political dissident made him a hero figure to anti-establishment liberals who are in the business of storytelling. Raised in a family of federal employees, Snowden grew up near Fort Meade, Md. He enlisted in the Army, went to work for the Central Intelligence Agency and became a technology specialist for the N.S.A. By the summer of 2013, he had downloaded thousands of documents, taken off for Hong Kong and asked the journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras to meet him there.
从真实故事的角度讲，斯诺登的故事很吸引人。他从一名害羞、羸弱的20多岁青年——充满这个年龄承担得起的那种理想主义——转变为一名政治异见者，这让那些以说故事为生者当中的反体制自由主义者看来，他是个英雄人物。斯诺登在马里兰州米德堡附近的一个联邦雇员家庭长大。他应征入伍，然后为中央情报局工作，后来成为国家安全局的技术专家。2013年夏，他下载了数千份文件，飞往香港，让记者格伦·格林沃尔德(Glenn Greenwald)和劳拉·普瓦特拉斯(Laura Poitras)在那里与他会面。
The initial revelations were sensational. Not only had the N.S.A. been monitoring the calls, emails and web activity of millions of Americans, but it also had been tapping into the networks of Google, Yahoo and other companies to do so. The Guardian published the leaks, and Greenwald eventually revealed the identity of his source in a video shot by Poitras. Depending on your feelings about national security, the N.S.A.’s actions were either necessary or unconstitutional. The Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called Snowden a hero. Secretary of State John Kerry called him a traitor. Donald Trump called for his execution.
最初的揭秘引起轰动。美国国家安全局不仅监视数百万美国人的电话、电子邮件和网络活动，而且攻入谷歌(Google)和雅虎(Yahoo)等公司的网络系统进行监视。《卫报》(The Guardian)公布了这些泄密文件，格林沃尔德最终在普瓦特拉斯拍摄的视频中透露了线人的身份。由于每个人对国家安全的感受不同，所以有些人认为国家安全局的所作所为是必需的，也有人认为那是违宪的。苹果公司(Apple)的联合创始人史蒂夫·沃兹尼亚克(Steve Wozniak)称斯诺登为英雄。美国国务卿约翰·克里(John Kerry)称他为叛国者。唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)呼吁将他处决。
As Snowden became a celebrity, a cause and a historical event, the web of people who wanted to take part in it widened. Most had his best interests in mind, but his story also happened to advance agendas that had long needed an appealing spokesperson. Civil-liberties lawyers wanted to represent him. Activist journalists wanted access to him. Publishers rushed out books, including “The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man,” by Luke Harding of The Guardian, and “The Snowden Operation: Inside the West’s Greatest Intelligence Disaster,” by Edward Lucas of The Economist. Despite promising an “inside” look, neither writer had ever met Snowden.
随着斯诺登成为一个名人、一项事业和一个历史事件，想加入其中的人越来越多。他们大部分是为了自己的利益，不过他的故事也碰巧推进了那些长久以来需要一位迷人代言人的计划。公民自由律师想代理他。记者活动人士想接触他。出版商竞相出书，包括《卫报》卢克·哈丁(Luke Harding)的《斯诺登的文件：世界上最重要通缉犯的内幕故事》(The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man)以及《经济学人》(The Economist)爱德华·卢卡斯(Edward Lucas)的《斯诺登行动：西方最重大情报灾难的内幕》(The Snowden Operation: Inside the West’s Greatest Intelligence Disaster)。尽管都打着“内幕”的招牌，这两位作者其实都没私下见过斯诺登。
Those with intimate knowledge documented the experience, too. In 2014, Greenwald published “No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the N.S.A. and the U.S. Surveillance State,” a dramatic retelling of how Greenwald broke the story. That fall, Poitras released “Citizenfour,” a tense and spooky documentary about a modest and intelligent young man who hid under a blanket when typing on his laptop. (It won the 2015 Oscar for best documentary.)
那些与斯诺登有过近距离接触的人也详细记录了相关经历。2014年，格林沃尔德出版了《无处藏身：爱德华·斯诺登、NSA与监控国家》(No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the N.S.A. and the U.S. Surveillance State)，这本书扣人心弦地重述了格林沃尔德披露这个故事的过程。那年秋季，普瓦特拉斯推出了《第四公民》(Citizenfour)，这部情节紧张、充满悬疑的纪录片讲述了一个谦虚、聪明的年轻人的故事，他藏在毯子里在电脑上打字（该片获得了2015年奥斯卡最佳纪录片奖）。
Snowden, meanwhile, ended up in Russia. He had embarked on a trip to Ecuador, but the United States revoked his passport midflight, leaving him stranded in Moscow. For Russia, Snowden was like a bird that flew in through an open window — or, as Putin joked, an unwanted Christmas present. But politically speaking, he could be useful. After enduring the United States’ endless lectures about human rights, the Kremlin could suddenly welcome a man who exposed large-scale American hypocrisy.
Kucherena entered the picture as Snowden’s lifeline, or at least as someone who could help him navigate Russia’s asylum laws. An experienced lawyer, Kucherena was appointed by Putin to the Public Council, overseeing the Federal Security Service (F.S.B.). Snowden’s case presented a new opportunity. It took Kucherena a month to negotiate Snowden’s stay and three months to write “Time of the Octopus.”
库切列纳就像一根救命索，进入了斯诺登的生活，或者至少可以帮助斯诺登充分利用俄罗斯的庇护法律。作为一名经验丰富的律师，库切列纳由普京任命在公共委员会(Public Council)工作，监管联邦安全局(Federal Security Service)。斯诺登的案子给他提供了一个新的机会。库切列纳花了一个月时间协商斯诺登的居留问题，然后花了三个月时间撰写《章鱼时间》。
Stone’s first meeting with Kucherena was a disaster. (“I thought he was a gruff bear,” Stone told me.) The director wanted to meet Snowden, but Kucherena said Snowden wouldn’t meet them until they agreed to option “Time of the Octopus.” (Kucherena denies this.) According to Stone and Borman, by the end of a long weekend, they reached a gentlemen’s agreement: Stone would option the novel — if Kucherena could provide regular access to his client.