Monday, February 21, 2011

Erasing David

Have I told you what I do?

Basically my new job involves watching TV news and current affairs programmes, and listening to radio bulletins and talkback shows, at high speed and summarising the content as I go. Why yes, it is as interesting, stimulating, and awesome as it sounds!

Last week I listened to a segment with film reviewer and blogger Lina Lamont. She talked about a bunch of films that are currently showing at the Auckland Documentary Edge Festival. Unfortunately the one that stood out for me is not showing in the Wellington festival, but I managed to watch it online over the weekend.

The film was called Erasing David, and was made by English filmmaker David Bond. In a very brief nutshell, Bond discovers that a disc containing information about his family members was misplaced by the British Government. The disc contained information about thousands of other people, and though he is advised of the error, he is told not to be concerned. However, this discovery sends him on an obsessive investigation into what information various companies and organisations hold on members of the British public. He writes to around eighty separate entities requesting that they send him copies of their records containing his person information, and receives stacks of paper in return.

Erasing David follows Bond's journey, as he decides to 'disappear' with his camera for a month, and hire two private investigators who are instructed to find him. They are given only his name, but quickly use the Internet to determine who he is, and where he is from. After he has 'disappeared' for only a matter of hours, they are observing Bond's house where his pregnant wife resides, and stealing her rubbish in the hopes of finding more information.

It is fascinating to see how easily they are able to determine very recent movements of a person who is deliberately trying to hide from them. Earlier interviews with privacy experts and victims of misidentification are cut throughout the film of his journey, which lessens the tension of the film slightly. Bond gets surprisingly intense and paranoid throughout the relatively short time he is 'in hiding', despite the controlled circumstances he is under- especially that he hired the private investigators himself.

Without revealing too much, I found the ending a bit 'what if...?' because it involved an unusual circumstance in his life. I can't help wondering whether the film would have been improved if he had waited a year or two later to make the film, but I guess life always gets in the way.

In summary, I'd definitely recommend that those of you enjoy documentaries watch Erasing David. It's quite fascinating, especially to see the variety of techniques the private investigators use (not that, admittedly, they're explored in much detail) to find out information about Bond.


Lauren said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I will definitely look into watching this, it sounds fascinating. x