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SXSW Film '10 — Erasing David | Inside Pulse

SXSW Film '10 — Erasing David

When it comes to online privacy, I’m either pretty confident or pretty stupid. I throw my online presence around like so much confetti — leaving a cyber trail like a slug through the Internet.

David Bond, though, is a lot more cautious — especially now that he knows just how easy it is to access the most private of details of one’s life with nothing more then an Internet connection and a lazy afternoon.

Shocked by how much of his personal life was left strewn about the Internet, Bond decided to put his privacy to the test. To whit, he hired two private investigators to track him down during his attempt to “drop off the grid” — effectively going into hiding for a month.

These investigators would use everything at their disposal to locate the British filmmaker — including rifling through his garbage, stalking his pregnant wife and cruising his Facebook page.

The end result is a documentary that plays more like a thriller on-the-go — with Bond jetting across Europe investigating the in’s and out’s of online privacy while his own personal pursuers attempt to track him down.

Erasing David is an interesting film that eventually looses steam — lost under the weight of what feels like far too much manufactured tension.

Bond treats the experiment like a life-or-death manhunt — with everything seemingly at stake as he attempts to stay one step ahead of the men he paid to chase him. This faux gravitas can be a bit overwhelming and, in the end, is the movie’s undoing.

There is plenty to like about Erasing David.

David Bond is a captivating man, charming and intense in his passions. He ably guides audiences along on a tour of the private information sector — exposing just how exposed we are as a culture.

Using interviews and personal exploration, he casts a light on Britain’s hard-on for the invasion of privacy — showing just how much the country has come towards transforming into the Big Brother of Orwell’s 1984.

Unfortunately, these golden nuggets of information are wedged between David’s wearying cat-and-mouse game he has put himself into.

When the stakes are no higher then eating a big bowl of crow, the audience has a hard time keeping interest as David purposely puts himself in danger of being caught only to hop on a train and jet off to some new out-of-the way grass hut before things get interesting.

In the end, the film is still recommended — just not as a priority. There is some real interesting stuff contained within but the good is lodged right alongside with the mediocre.

Category: SX Global
Director: David Bond

Inside Pulse — Movies will be on the ground at SXSW! For live coverage from the event, follow Robert Saucedo and Travis Leamons on Twitter at @robsaucedo2500 and @skipkassidy.

The South by Southwest film festival will be held in Austin from March 12 through the 20th. For more information about attending the festival and the films being shown, visit www.sxsw.com/film.

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