It’s rare when one can review a piece of affecting cinema that’s actually relevant to his/her job, and that infrequent occasion must be seized whenever opportunity knocks. That said, I’m more than happy to recommend Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, the latest documentary experience from controversial Bavarian filmmaker Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Into the Inferno). I would even say that it should be mandatory viewing for anyone in our industry that deals directly or indirectly with the Internet of Things (IoT), Network Security, Smart Cities, or Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Released in 2016, but relevant to our daily lives for the foreseeable future, Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World combines arresting imagery with digital simulations and probing interviews with a wide range of subjects including Internet pioneers, hackers, and even SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Herzog, the man whose legend has grown around obtaining poetic images and interviews at the foot of volcanoes or in the darkness of the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave, manages to produce an in-depth meditation on how technology is shaping our world while also remaining remarkably objective. With chapters dedicated to both the futuristic possibilities as well as the dark side of how people abuse our interconnected world, the tone and thesis here is neither pessimistic nor naïve. Herzog is asking some of the biggest questions possible about identity, privacy, and even space travel, but he’s no Luddite.
In fact, Herzog described the Internet as one of humankind’s greatest achievements in a wtf podcast interview with Marc Maron a few years back. Like anything else, the IoT is a tool that can be used for immense good or bad depending on what we bring to the proverbial table. And it’s this balance that Herzog strikes between idolizing technology and fearing it that should be taken into account for any individual or company-wide endeavor related to digital evolution.
Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World is available on YouTube, Netflix, Prime Video, Vudu, iTunes and Google Play Movies & TV. In the meantime, however, whet your digital appetite with the documentary’s official trailer below:
Image via official trailer video.