A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Though its thesis isn't exactly laid out, the movie still leaves viewers with plenty to think about re: humans and computers, touching on as many emotional issues as technical ones. It addresses community and bullying and raises unanswerable -- but ponderable -- questions about the future. The whole movie is infused with a spirit of curiosity and compassion.
Positive Role Models
Few role models here except possibly for Herzog himself, who's endlessly curious and compassionate toward his subjects but retains the courage to step back and ask hard questions when needed. Some of the more forward-thinking scientists and engineers could inspire teens on a new path of study. On the other hand, one segment is about an infamous hacker describing his adventures (and brushes with the law), which could have a similar effect in a less-desirable way.
Violence & Scariness
Stories of a family harassed online after their daughter's death. Descriptions of a decapitation. Some interview subjects are upset.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mention of porn.
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A single use of "f--k." A use of "crap."
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Products & Purchases
Motorola phone shown.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Mention of someone being drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World is a tech-centric documentary by celebrated filmmaker Werner Herzog. It's a deeply thoughtful yet still entertaining exploration of the relationships between humans and computers. The film is full of curiosity and compassion; some of the segments are amazing, some are amusing, and some are heartbreaking. One segment deals with online bullying after a teenage girl's the death; in another scene, a hacker tells stories about his crimes and arrests and says "f--k" once. There are a few other iffy images/concepts and a mention of "porn," which is why the movie is most appropriate for older tweens and up, but anyone who spends a lot of time online will find plenty here to think about and discuss. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This documentary is one of Herzog's best; it's thoughtful yet entertaining, amusing yet heartbreaking, and sometimes simply beautiful. And it should give web-savvy viewers plenty to think and talk about. At one point, Herzog asks "does the internet dream of itself?" and, through a series of interviews, he spends the rest of the movie exploring that question.
While the film's segments, each with its own chapter title, may not seem connected, they all look at ways in which humans interact with computers -- the ways in which emotions figure into technology. Herzog asks the developer of a soccer-playing AI robot if he loves his creation, and the answer is yes. The people with allergies are in genuine pain, and Herzog's heart goes out to them, as well as to the victims of harassment. True to Herzog's style, the film isn't rigidly structured, but rather organically follows the filmmaker's own curiosity and compassion. Along with the great director's Grizzly Man, Encounters at the End of the World, and Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World is a must-see.
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