The new film, ANON, falls somewhere in this category of unease. A world where there are no secrets. Facial recognition as we see on Facebook is the norm, everything is identified for you and thinking is not necessary nor likely even an option in this ‘futuristic’ world.
Think Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s virtual ‘assistants’ that offers you the programmed answers that are deemed appropriate to the power elite and the corporations who market their agenda. A ‘convenience’ to busy people everywhere who in turn sacrifice their freedoms of choice and their own belief systems.
This is the world of ANON, clearly not far from where we sit now and the Black Mirror-like premise would be interesting enough, if in fact it didn’t already seem as if we were living in the same world as the film’s characters.
In the hour and a half of entertainment indoctrination or maybe we should just call it ‘indoctritainment’, we are made to cozy up to and even identify with a future that is devoid of basic human rights and at the same time we are told that we need to accept that fairness is not part of the plan. The film shows how crimes can’t easily be covered up because your visual memories are all accessible on a virtual cloud, thus there is little crime because it’s detection no longer stands in the way of solving them, yet we see one crime being committed by a black woman and it goes unreported because the white victim irritated the investigator. Reparations propaganda in the form of a stolen diamond bracelet. Free Starbucks coffee, anyone?
So, yes, we’re watching a ‘futuristic’ movie that keeps reminding us that this is our life and to get used to the idea of limited rights and even if we’re innocent of any wrong-doing, it’s all for the greater good that you’re punished anyway.
The film revolves around a fixer of indiscretions who edits memories to make unwanted incidents disappear. A person’s unique experience in a continuous stream of visuals expressed as a file, a sad and telling anagram for the word ‘life’. This is a constant reminder as the word ‘file’ is flashed repeatedly, reducing us to our digital footprints, not an actual life at all.
In the end, the fixer, who spends all of her time eradicating the lies, crimes and indecencies of others tries to explain why she shuns the system and why living off the grid is preferable to her. She says, “It’s not that I have something to hide, I have nothing I want you to see.” This comes a little too late after 90 minutes of indoctriation into this world and is an even smaller consolation to anyone who doesn’t have a Smart Phone inches from their face for most of their waking hours.
The moment reminds the viewer of a quote at the beginning of the film in which we’re even made to reject God.
“I give the fight up; let there be an end. A privacy, an obscure nook for me. I want to be forgotten even by God.” -- Robert Browning, from his poem, Paracelsus. 1835.
How are movies like this being passed off as entertainment when the point of their existence is to convince us that we should just give up?
See you next time, @tacostate
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