Checking in with a generation of British kids who never knew life before social media, Beeban Kidron asks the rest of us to consider why anyone should worry about their being so totally plugged in.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2014
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