Opening 30 Jan 2014
Disconnect deals with a number of common issues in our society today that result from the negative side of communication technology. The film follows three stories that focus on a world where virtual communication is king and face-to-face communication is becoming a lost skill.
In one storyline, Nina (Andrea Riseborough) is an ambitious TV reporter doing a story on Kyle (Max Thieriot), an underage chat room stripper. Nina’s quest for the story results in dramatic repercussions for the young man. Meanwhile a young couple (Paula Patton and Alexander Skarsgård) struggle with the loss of their baby son by going online to find solace in chat rooms and gambling sites. Their online sharing of detailed and personal information leads them to become victims of identity theft. After the police are unable to assist them in finding the culprit they turn to a specialised private investigator (Frank Grillo) to track down and stop the identity thief. Unbeknownst to the private investigator his own son is involved in another form of online crime, cyber bullying. The bullies hone in on Adam (Jonah Bobo), an awkward kid who can not connect with the kids at school but does find it easy to connect with “Jessica”, a bogus female persona made up by the bullies for sport. The game spirals out of control when this vulnerable boy’s naked photo is sent to the entire school. Adam is mortified and takes drastic steps to end his suffering.
If you do not directly identify with one of these three scenarios you will know someone who does. The inability of individuals to connect with each other and the increased personal sharing online is as scary as it is factual in our society today. This is a cautionary tale leaving us to think about our need to reconnect in the real word. (Christine Riney)