Friday reviews: 27 October 2023
Ms. Information , Dumb Money and Simone: Woman of the Century are in cinemas and The Pigeon Tunnel is streaming on Apple TV+
Two films today that are largely about people being driven mad by things they find on the internet, both make copious use of the social media screenshots and video clips to help tell their stories.
They made for an interesting double-feature yesterday, that’s for sure.
In fact both of Ms. Information and Dumb Money will make fascinating viewing when they are dug from a time capsule sometime after the apocalypse, perfect illustrations of the sheer craziness of the times we currently live in.
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I found Ms. Information to be surprisingly moving – a sign, I think, of the repressed trauma of the early weeks of the pandemic response. Watching clips of Jacinda Ardern and Ashley Bloomfield making pronouncements from the Beehive Theatrette I was taken right back to the anxiety of those days, the fear of disease and the surprising totality of the response.
Microbiologist Siouxie Wiles may have been the most public face of the pandemic (other than Ardern and Bloomfield), despite never being officially involved and never taking a cent from either the government or the media who relied so much on her appearances.
The film shows, through the prism of this one woman’s experience, how New Zealand’s attitude towards the pandemic shifted over time, away from the kind team of five million to a pack of freedom loving, anti-vaxxing, conspiracy minded, grifting zealots.
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