Directed by: Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog is a legendary German filmmaker known for both unforgettable fiction films, such as “Aguirre, the Wrath of God”, “Fitzcarraldo” and “Stroszek”, and amazing documentaries like “Encounters at the End of the World”, “Into the Abyss”, and “Grizzly Man”.
His new film, “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World”, fits in this last category, trying to alert the world to the possible dangers of the Internet, especially when improperly used, but also mentioning the benefits and huge technological developments of one of the most amazing discoveries of the last century.
For this structured journey, he takes us to the birthplace of the Internet with the help of one of its pioneers, Lawrence Krauss, who tells us about that significant first step given in 1969, showing us the robust piece of equipment used to establish the first host-to-host communication that would change the world.
The film, divided into ten chapters, concludes that in the future the Internet propagation will grow out of control, and urges its users to establish their own limits to avoid becoming fully dependent.
Besides presenting a few bold futuristic theories that include expanding the Internet to Mars and set up intergalactic communications, “Lo and Behold”, tries to work as an eye-opener in regard to the threats associated with the colossal network.
The cases mentioned are quite disturbing: a few guys who became ill due to an enormous sensitivity to wireless signals, others who became so addicted to video games that their lives were practically destroyed, and also Kevin Mitnick, who decided to live a cunning life and become a malicious hacker. He was sentenced to five years in prison for several computer and communications-related crimes.
The keyword ‘unpredictability’, alongside robotics and artificial intelligence, makes the Internet a paradise for some and a hell for others, especially those who were caught in its evil scams or developed a severe dependency.
“Lo and Behold” is far from the best documentaries of master Herzog, and its chapters might not be organized in the best way. However, everybody should see this work and get a real notion of how impactful, for the better and for the worse, the Internet has become in our lives.