Beeban Kidron, the director best known for the BBC TV version of the Jeanette Winterson novel “Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit,” has made a grim
documentary about how teenagers actually use the internet.
It’s not pretty, according to the trailer for “InRealLife.”
The film focuses on half a dozen teenagers who talk with alarming bluntness about the role their mobile phones and the web plays in their lives. They are, in varying degrees, addicted to social-mobile media, porn, and to the devices themselves.
Here’s how bad it gets,
according to The Guardian:
In one, a girl who does not reveal her identity, talks with heartbreaking candour about how she would do anything for her BlackBerry; when a gang of boys takes it from her she recounts how she allowed herself to be sexually assaulted in order to have it back.
In another section of the movie, a 15-year-old boy, Ryan, describes unblinkingly how he is addicted to online porn, even though he is bored of it, because he has seen so much of it. “I’ve ruined the sense of love,” he says in the film.
A third teen, who is gay, describes his long-distance romance with another 15-year-old, someone he seems to know intimately — but has never met.
The film also tells the story of a boy who lost his place at Oxford University because he was addicted to video games.
Kidron seems to have focused on kids who are extreme cases — most teenagers who go to Oxford do not flunk because of video games or porn, obviously.
But she does so in order to bring into sharp relief exactly what the web has done to children. They find the unreal, virtual world of the web more interesting than real life contact with other humans. And they seem incurious about why that virtual world exists in the first place: A voiceover from an “expert” in the movie states, “It’s a world in which your history is archived by a private company on servers that belong to them for commercial purposes, that belong to them.”
Here’s the trailer (below). You can see a collection of cuts from the film here.
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