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Home Reviews LFF 2010 LFF: Catfish
LFF: Catfish Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 20:30
Directors: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman

When people first heard of a Facebook movie, this is the kind of thing they imagined instead of The Social Network. But even they couldn't have expected such an unsettling and poignant piece of cinema.

Catfish is ostensibly a documentary following photographer Nev, who makes friends with Abby, a nine year old girl who likes painting his pictures. He's in New York, she's in Michigan, but they start chatting online instantly. Soon enough the whole family's on Facebook, friendlng each other and tagging their pictures. It's a weird little incestuous social network that fascinates Nev's filmmaking friends.

So they start on the ambitious trek across America to meet their virtual penpals - a quick shot of Google Earth here, a jaunt down Google Street view there, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman's film is a fully online experience. But while watching a grown man make friends with a young girl might seem awkward, Catfish is disturbing for a completely different reason.

Following its surprisingly dramatic plot points, Joost and Schulman continue to capture the sad truth behind Catfish's revelations. It's an insight into what happens when life collides with digital reality; a message which instantly grabs you and smacks you over the face with a keyboard repeatedly until you feel sorry for all concerned. A wonderful experience.


The most fun you can have sitting in a darkened room watching someone else make friends on the Internet.


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