Kyle Cubr reviews Werner Herzog’s doc “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World” on this week’s Cine-File list


October 29, 1969: Scientists at UCLA established an ARPANET link with Stanford Research Institute and sent two letters, L-O, before the system crashed—the Internet is born. LO AND BEHOLD, REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD delves into the history of the Internet, its vitalness to modern society, and its future. Herzog’s knowledgeable documentary strives to maintain a tone of impartiality as he interviews people whose lives have benefitted from the global interconnectivity (robotics teams, scientists) and those who have been harmed (Internet addiction sufferers, a family whose horrible personal tragedy was grandstanded for all to see). In an age were more and more of daily life is shifting towards a non-tangible digital format, Herzog seeks to ask is humanity losing itself? Can robots and machines replicate or replace human qualities in their functions? The subject matter is treated reverentially as the interviewees speak of the Internet in almost religious manner. The dichotomy of good and bad presented parallels the moral quandaries latent in modern society. Beautifully shot, LO AND BEHOLD is an insightful, provocative, and informative film that tackles the grandiose subject of the Internet with its vast complexities in Herzog’s inimitable style.

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