Hot Docs 2016: Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World

Werner Herzog examines our increasingly technology dependent world in Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World. It is hard to remember a world without the Internet. First created at UCLA in 1969 as a means of connecting with distant computers, the Internet has become ingrained into every aspect of human society. Despite the many advantages that this brings, there are also many aspects of this connected world to be wary of.

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World sees Werner Herzog dissecting our technology dependent society in only a way that Herzog can. Divided into ten chapters, the film takes a look at the pros and cons of our connected world. This includes self-driving cars, soccer playing robots, and a possible future where we will be so connected that we don’t even notice it. However, a connected world has its downsides, including the end of interpersonal relations and the fact that human society as a whole has become so dependent on technology that it will collapse if we suddenly become disconnected.

There is always a certain charm about the documentaries of Werner Herzog, since he has a quite unique way of viewing the world, with Lo and Behold being no exception. However, as someone who grew up in the technology age, I am concerned that the film is a bit technophobic at times. At one point, one of the interviewees outright describes the Internet as the manifestation of evil and the only young people interviewed for the film are those receiving treatment for gaming addiction. While we should indeed be cautionary about our dependence on technology, Lo and Behold does go a bit too far at times.

7 / 10 stars

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).