Film Title: InRealLife
Director: Beeban Kidron
Starring: Cory Doctorow
Running Time: 90 min
Imagine a documentary on this awful internet thing made by your mum – presuming your mum is something other than cool – and you will have an idea what to expect from Beeban Kidron’s woeful whinge about kids today and their Play-boxes (or whatever they’re call).
To be fair, the director of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason does assemble a perfectly decent selection of talking heads to place the supposed catastrophes in context. Blogger and journalist Cory Doctorow, for instance, describes Facebook as “a behavioural casino” aimed at persuading you to “undervalue your privacy”.
The problems come when Kidron moves onto supposed ordinary members of the public. An interview with the parents of a boy who killed himself after being bullied online is handled with modest restraint.
Away from that undeniable tragedy, however, Baroness Kidron (as she now is) repeatedly tries to impose her own agenda on the lives of her subjects. A girl tells a terrible story about sexual violence that doesn’t really have anything to do with the digital world. Kidron works hard at persuading an Oxford dropout (and us) that he is addicted to gaming. Objection, m’lud. Leading the witness!
In between these specious snippets, the soundtrack rumbles menacingly and the director wonders about the much-discussed “cloud” that stores so much of our information. Why, it’s almost as if it’s just a metaphor. Well, d’uh!