Beeban Kidron’s documentary offers a worried parent’s guide to the captivating power of the internet. It’s not exactly balanced or even methodical, but it is a compelling and moving piece of filmmaking, spiked with remarkable candour from its teenage subjects. A life peer since 2012, Baroness Kidron is a patron of children’s charities. She’s primarily a feature director (Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason) and InRealLife resembles a feature in its expressive mise-en-scène and its lively emotional intelligence. By interviewing teenage cyber-addicts, consulting divergent media experts and tracking vast stacks and tangles of cable to show us what ‘the cloud’ actually looks like, she builds up a picture of the internet as a dark realm where predators lurk. But not all the babes in these woods are wolf fodder, and for one pair of lonely surfers tracked by her cameras there’s a happy ending such as no previous generation ever knew.
“While the creeping surveillance narrative is well rehearsed (Julian Assange pops up to do his party piece), Kidron opens up a wide range of debates in which we all need to be involved.” — Mark Kermode, The Observer