Written by Taylor Baker
If you want me to save you roughly two hours, data rights are important and we need to talk about how to categorize them and hold large data companies accountable. If you want to read what I thought of The Great Hack, read on.
Under-specific, disjointed, overproduced, unreliably presented, overtly biased, and passively boring. There is an interesting overuse of the word Psychology and it’s numerous suffixes, and an equally interesting complete lack of the word Sociology and it’s suffixes in this picture. This leaves me with a feeling that the people speaking are not informed specialists on how to perceive individual behavior on a macroscopic scale.
If and when a Documentarian is entrenched not just physically but morally and politically with the subjects they are covering, then they need to establish a timeline with evidence. Unfortunately, this largely felt like a reenactment to make some individuals be seen as heroic. The Brink was much more legitimate in this way and left much of the overt narration found here as something to be read between the lines while Bannon toured Europe or spoke on the phone. If this material were presented by an Investigative Journalist as a limited podcast it would be quite riveting. Such as Rukmini Callimachi’s Caliphate Podcast from the spring of 2018, which notably also began with a mission statement.
I’m still waiting for the unanimously great Doc of 2019. I’m also starting to get a sense that these releases (The Great Hack, Fyre, The Brink, and Leaving Neverland) are attempts at the next The Jinx or the next Icarus instead of being their own thing. It’s almost like “Gotcha Journalism” is a profit model for some of these filmmakers. I’m sure something super personal, unflattering, and sincere in the vein of Free Solo or Minding the Gap will sweep us up and collectively take us all by storm before November. I just don’t want to wait that dang long.
PS(A): Stop showing me TED Talks in Documentaries! kthnx.
–Taylor Baker originally posted this review on Letterboxd 07/24/19
View it on Netflix