Film Review: InRealLives

Released this week, InRealLives takes a look at how the internet has impacted upon the way we live our lives, and flags up some issues that should cause us to reflect upon questions of privacy, personal relationships and sexuality.

Director Beeban Kidron might be best known for “Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit” and “Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason”, but here she delves into the lives of five young people as they talk variously about their use of pornography and its effect on their ability to connect emotionally, addiction to social media and computer gaming, cyber bullying and building relationships online.

Woven around these individual stories is an examination of where data is kept, how much of what we do is recorded, and the question asked is, do we have real privacy any more?

Kidron carries out the interviews off camera, allowing you to focus your whole attention on the interviewee, in their own homes, and asks the sort of questions that generate some thoughtful, and thought-provoking, answers. In doing so, she provides an insight into the impact of the internet on the next generation – just what are they doing with their smartphones all day?

The film addresses some difficult issues but also offers some optimism – I challenge anyone not to feel for Tom as he comes out on line and forms a relationship with Daniel.

All in all, this is a film for parents and grandparents who might learn why social media is so huge, and for young adults who might not entirely appreciate the loss of privacy that might ensue. Unfortunately, its 15 certificate does mean that some of those who might benefit from seeing it won’t be able to do so, but nonetheless, it achieves its aim of challenging the way we see the online world with humour, honesty and integrity.

InRealLives was released on 20 September, and is produced by Dogwoof Productions.

Mark Valladares is Liberal Democrat Voice’s Readers’ Editor.

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