IMDb > Erasing David (2010)

Erasing David (2010) More at IMDbPro »

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Erasing David -- Trailer for Erasing David

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Tagline:
He has nothing to hide but does he have nothing to fear?
Plot:
Director David Bond finds out how much private companies and government know about him by attempting to disappear. Tracked by two ruthless private investigators, his chilling journey forces him to contemplate the loss of privacy. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(17 articles)
Do protest films like Project Wild Thing change anything?
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 17 October 2013, 4:05 PM, PDT)

New Release: Erasing David DVD
 (From Disc Dish. 7 June 2011, 3:32 PM, PDT)

Mark Kermode's DVD round-up
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 4 December 2010, 4:05 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Privacy issues are hot, but unsure this film will reach out and convert people See more (6 total) »

Cast

 
Frank M. Ahearn ... Himself
David Bond ... Himself
Cameron Gowlett ... Himself
Duncan Mee ... Himself

Directed by
David Bond 
Melinda McDougall (co-director)
 
Produced by
David Bond .... co-producer
Beadie Finzi .... executive producer
Maxyne Franklin .... executive producer
Ashley Jones .... producer
Rebecca Lloyd-Evans .... associate producer
Melinda McDougall .... co-producer
 
Original Music by
Michael Nyman 
 
Cinematography by
Annemarie Lean-Vercoe 
Gavin Northover 
 
Film Editing by
Steve Barclay 
Wojciech Duczmal 
 
Sound Department
Finn Curry .... sound designer
 
Editorial Department
Vicki Matich .... colorist
Andrew Mitchell .... on-line editor
Kate Rowles .... post-production assistant
Bobby Williams .... additional editing by
 
Music Department
Andy Simms .... composer: additional music
 
Other crew
Kyle Dowling .... production assistant
 

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Privacy issues are hot, but unsure this film will reach out and convert people, 21 October 2010
Author: JvH48 from Amersfoort, The Netherlands

The description of this film refers to the hot issue of privacy, especially with the fast growing number of social interaction websites in mind. These websites leave too much opportunities for people to publish personal details, which may come to haunt them sooner or later. Any means to make people aware of the underlying risks can be considered useful and should be judged on their educational merits.

As a former (retired) security consultant I know how difficult it is to make people aware of issues like these. On the other hand, Internet providers and social websites do everything in their power to downplay these problems. The privacy policy of e.g. Facebook is infamous in being much longer than the American Constitution, even more uninviting to read from A to Z, and not easily understood in all its intricacies.

There are a three scenes that may achieve some awareness, and are worth mentioning for that reason.

Firstly, main character David takes a lot of trouble in finding out how much details are kept by institutions he knowingly has contacts with, like schools, government, telephone companies, etcetera. He asks them to print everything they have about him, to envelope it and to send it to him. After making categories he finds out, much to his surprise, that by far the largest pile is what is kept by private companies. Obviously, he has agreed to that in the past, but forgot that. Also is unclear what he agreed to precisely. There seem to be no limits to what they can do with the data.

Secondly, there was a discussion with his wife when he wanted to withhold his signature for enrolling their child in the fingerprint system that the school just bought. School managers he spoke expected a lot of the new system, but failed to see the issues set out by David. His wife had a similar "what harm can be in that" attitude, and his explanations were as seeds falling on unfruitful land (as worded in the New Testament).

Thirdly, near the end of the film, David sees with his own eyes how much data the two private investigators had collected about him in a few weeks time. It included information that he did not know even existed, or that he himself had forgotten a long time ago. Nearly everything was obtained legally and from publicly available sources. Only one thing (the hospital appointment) was the result of social engineering. Absolutely no hacking was involved in the search.

Overall, the film is a constant mixture of three interleaving story lines: earlier research by David, the chase by two hired detectives to find out his whereabouts, and some interviews with experts in the field. Throughout, there is a high percentage of viewer education, which may be considered "boring" by many people but unavoidable to get the main issues across. The same "boring" characterization may apply to David's own research, but it is a somewhat dramatized hence much less "teacherish". The actual chase carries the film. Though not ended the way I expected, it can be applauded as a very good attempt to make the whole film acceptable for average viewers.

But still, one may ask what the ideal target group is for this movie. It does not look commercially viable to run it in a normal theater. Similarly, it seems too long to get it programmed on a public TV channel. In general, I cannot think of an opportunity to show it to a broad audience.

If all else fails, can it then serve its purpose as part of an educational program in a school?? Maybe it can work, especially when followed-up by a discussion or writing an essay. As I said, every chance to educate younger people on this, is worth every effort.

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