Terms and Conditions May Apply
Terms And Conditions May Apply is a brilliant work of digital era agitprop that demands to be seen by anyone who uses a cell phone or the internet. So, that’s everyone, right? Well, listen up. You know those “terms and conditions” forms you blindly agree to every time you sign up for software? Big mistake.
As Cullen Hoback’s documentary proves, everyone who has agreed to those forms has blindly signed away their right to privacy. You might think that’s an overstatement, but consider this: if you have a gmail account, you also have a PIN number on a google hard drive that keeps track of every word you’ve ever searched and every website you’ve ever visited on any device you’ve ever used for gmail. The information is most used in advertising databases, but the government has more access than you’d think and it’s not that hard for other folks to find that info as well. Paranoid yet? You probably should be. (Phil Brown)
A People Uncounted
The release of director Aaron Yeger’s look at Roma (a.k.a. Gypsy) heritage and the hardship and racism they’ve endured for centuries couldn’t be coming at a better time. With the recent headlines out of France that a mayor and parliament member boldly declared that “Hitler didn’t kill enough of them,” Yeger’s look takes on a particular air of immediacy.
Focusing predominantly around how an estimated 500,000 Roma from all over Europe were killed during the Holocaust, Yeger takes a look at the persecution of this largely transient population over the course of century’s worth of similar derision and cultural misunderstanding. It’s hard for any minority group (and the biggest in Europe at that) to gain a good reputation when some countries purposely stop them from voting, they’re seen as unhirable (in some areas with a whopping 90% unemployment rate), and every film and television show depicts them as lazy, shiftless, thieving, good-for-nothings.
While the central theme of the Holocaust packs a punch in the second half, there’s a lot of factual information in the early going that Yeger stumbles over a little bit. It’s compelling stuff and once the first person accounts of reliving the Holocaust take centre stage it’s quite powerful and heartbreaking. The first half could use some tighter editing and condensing, but it’s still worth sticking with. (Andrew Parker)
Also at the Bloor this week: