8 documentaires over Big Data

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    Big Data is a subject that may remain abstract for many, but which has a major impact on our daily lives—in terms of privacy, the trade in personal data, and the real-world power of algorithms. This IDFA selection consists of eight documentary films on this complex subject.

    From wiretapping to technological miracle cures

    Big Data can take on many shapes: from a technical cure-of-all-ills in Data Will Help Us, to an instrument of power in iHuman and Citizenfour. Let’s not forget its strong ties to fake news and conspiracy theories, as unearthed by White Noise.

    From the festival screen to your home cinema

    The IDFA Collection consists of a number of documentary films about Big Data. Below you will find a selection of eight unique films on the subject that have screened at the festival in recent years—now available online for free or for a small fee.

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    • Laura Poitras
    • 2014

      A real-time documentary thriller about the large-scale illegal surveillance practices of the NSA, disclosed in 2013 by whistleblower Edward Snowden through filmmaker Laura Poitras and Guardian reporters Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill.

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      Data Will Help Us

      • Jonathan Harris
      • 2013

        Big data is regarded as a technological cure-all for the early 21st century. While celebrating its potential, this manifesto also explores its dark side.

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        Do Not Track

        • Brett Gaylor
        • 2015

          This personalized series on privacy shows who benefits from the online private data that we unthinkingly share every day with those out to make money off of us.

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          • Kyle McDonald
          • 2020

            This website and installation literally transforms the increasingly urgent discussions surrounding automated face analysis into a game. Can you fool the neural network as it searches for sunglasses, your smile, or your criminal disposition?

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            • Tonje Hessen Schei
            • 2019

              The use of artificial intelligence has far-reaching consequences, especially in the context of power and social control. With great access to many influential voices on this subject, iHuman explores how AI is changing our lives and our world.

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              • Lauren Lee McCarthy
              • 2017

                Lauren McCarthy attempts to win back control from technology by making herself into a human smart home system.

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                The Leaked Recipes Cookbook

                • Demetria Glace
                • 2020

                  Author Demetria Glace presents a series of intimate events based on The Leaked Recipes Cookbook, a cookbook of recipes she fished out from the massive data leaks in recent years.

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                  White Noise

                  • Daniel Lombroso
                  • 2020

                    A glimpse into the extreme right-wing world of alt-right activist Richard Spencer, influencer Lauren Southern and anti-feminist Mike Cernovich. Even they had little idea of what effect their “white noise” would have.

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