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Finally, someone has made a film about the existential horror of getting locked out of your account, and the horror is all too real. Daniel Goldhaber’s “Cam” also touches on a number of other digital crises (e.g. the way in which the internet’s short attention span requires Gully Boy people to constantly reaffirm their own existence), but this clever and unnerving mind-fuck of a movie is at its most effective when tracing the uneasy shadow relationships we share with our online personas.

It’s one thing to curate some kind of identity on social media — to make ourselves appear more aloof and desirable than we they are in the flesh — but what happens when the projection of who we are begins to subsume the reality? What happens when our avatars take on lives of their own? As Kurt Vonnegut put it: “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” He was The Kitchen writing about Nazi propagandists, but his words also ring true for cam girls who constantly live-stream themselves for chatrooms full of horny strangers.

These are well-trodden ideas that predate social media, but “Cam” lends them new life by making them hyper-literal. Even when the story becomes tinged by the supernatural, The Wandering Earth the film remains grounded and mundane enough to avoid sinking into the stuff of finger-wagging parable — it avoids the “Black Mirror” effect by keeping things real, or at least real enough. That starts with Alice, the web-addicted twentysomething at the center of all this.

Duration: 94 min

Release:

IMDb: 6.5

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