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Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley Talk Politics in This ‘Snowden’ Clip

If you live in Washington, D.C., how often do you walk by the White House? It seems like an odd place to go. In the new clip from Snowden, for example, we see the two main characters on an early date as they stroll past a protest outside the White House gates. Wouldn’t this be an unnecessarily crowded and uncomfortable path to walk? I have to figure that this is the D.C. equivalent of taking your date on a walk through Times Square, something you should never, ever want to do.

Maybe it’s not great that this is my biggest takeaway from the trailer for Oliver Stone’s new film, but hey, we play the cards we are dealt. In this new Snowden clip, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley are arguing about politics. Snowden is a conservative, you see, and does not like it when people question our commander-in-chief or America’s involvement in foreign conflicts. Meanwhile, his girlfriend is a staunch liberal, who questions the war in Iraq and is no big fan of President Bush. As the two argue about the armed forces and the “liberal media,” it seems like they will never find common ground, but fear not! The argument ends with a kiss and all is well in Snowden’s world.

While the intention here seems to be to set Snowden up on his own hero’s journey  —  look at how difficult it was for a self-professed patriot to come to terms with America’s surveillance policies!  —  this is something of an odd clip to share, painting both characters in extremely broad strokes (and, if we’re being honest, not portending good things for the future of their relationship). Here’s hoping that the rest of the film addressed politics in a more nuanced manner.

Here is the official plot synopsis for Snowden:

Snowden, the politically-charged, pulse-pounding thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, reveals the incredible untold personal story of Edward Snowden, the polarizing figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the NSA and became one of the most wanted men in the world. He is considered a hero by some, and a traitor by others. No matter which you believe, the epic story of why he did it, who he left behind, and how he pulled it off makes for one of the most compelling films of the year.

Snowden also stars Nicolas Cage, Zachary Quinto, and Timothy Olyphant, and will hit theaters on September 16.

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