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Lutz Dammbeck ...
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Butch Gehring ...
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Norbert Wiener ...
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An provocative way to ask fascinating questions (8/10)
16 February 2005 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

Where does technology lead us? Ted Kaczynski, the ex-Mathematician who lived a secluded life in the woods until he was arrested and convicted as the "Unabomber", believes that it will be our doom.

Lutz Dammbeck confronts us with a puzzle, looking for connections between technological positivism, mind control experiments and the hippie movement, all traced back to state power interests developing as results of World War II. However, the links are weak, and instead of presenting us with a final conclusion resulting from his research (as other documentarists would eagerly do), Dammbeck simply leaves us to solve the puzzle by ourselves, strengthen or break the links as we find appropriate, raising interesting questions on science, technology and human's role in society along the way.

Thus the movie's subject reaches far deeper than the "Unabomber's" biography, which is, in Kaczynski's own words, irrelevant. The movie provides a platform for Kaczynski's critique on technological positivism, which Dammbeck seems to at least partially sympathize with. However, the final decision is left to the viewer, who is aided by additional background and research material on the movie's website.

Dammbeck is coming from an artistic point of view, consciously and deliberately breaking the limits between what is art and what is "real life", creating a disturbing, thought-provoking documentary. It is admirable and a sign of true plurality that publicly financed institutions such as SWR and arte stand behind an unconventional project that handles such a provocative subject seriously.


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