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SXSW Amazon Film Screening: A Review on Selfie

By Stacey Ramirez
Web Content Contributor

Selfie” is a French anthology film. With a run time of one hour and 48 minutes, it tells the satiric stories of social media and society and its unhealthy obsession that’s almost normalized now.

This film has five directors: Marc Fitoussi, Cyril Gelblat, Vianney Lebasque, Thomas Bidegain and Tristan Aurouet.

The film shows many similarities to the TV show “Black Mirror” as both tell stories of what society’s obsession with social media would look like taken to the extreme, but Selfie also allows for more comedic moments.

The first story is about the Perez family. Their son Lucas is fighting a terminal illness and the family copes with it by vlogging about their son’s life which receives attention from millions of viewers, celebrities and sponsors.

The irony comes when Lucas is miraculously cured, but instead of celebrating, Lucas’s parents see it as a downfall as they watch their vlogs lose most of its audience and they lose the gifts and trips they were receiving. They try to find new issues to focus on and to regain the attention they had before. Even if it makes their children unhappy.

This story reflects the real-life negatives news that surrounds YouTube family vlog channels. It begs the questions of what genuine family affection is and what is done for the audience. It also shows the controversy of exploiting your children, who either aren’t old enough to consent or even realize their lives are being shared online. This puts into question if the kids are being forced to participate in the vlogs for the sake of their parents.

The second story is about a schoolteacher named Bettina who at first isn’t very tech-savvy but when she creates an online social media profile for the first time, she deep dives into the world of online trolling.

It ends up in her favor after she attacks a famous comedian and she catches his attention and begins a flirtatious relationship through messaging. But when the time comes that he wants to meet “IRL” she ghosts him out of the fear that she will be attacked by his social media following.

Many of us can relate to this story as we have all witness or had an encounter with internet trolls, people who just want to cause drama online by hiding behind a screen. I think the twist here I enjoyed was how it led her to fall in love, but it also led her to never meeting in person because she could no longer hide behind a screen.

The third story is about a guy named Florian who tries to cheat his way on a dating app by messing with the algorithm to try to match with the girl that is out of his league and ranked too high for him to match with.

The ironic part here is he sees her in person every day but won’t talk to her and starts to determine his values based on the app. This causes him to miss his chances with another girl who was genuinely interested in him and not his app ranking

The last stories are cautionary tales about privacy. Romain not only believes the ads for products that pop up meant for him, but he soon believes that they control his life and when he refuses to buy them, he believes it starts messaging with his marriage.

The last story is about a website that leaks everyone’s personal info from private messages to online searches. As this is happening before the wedding it causes a lot of trouble not only for the bride and groom but its guest as everyone’s secrets are revealed.

I think the message of each story was very relevant to issues happening today. And even though this is a French film there wasn’t a cultural difference that makes the film confusion.  I also thought it was clever how each of the stories tied in together because of a character.

Featured image screenshot by Stacey Ramirez via Amazon Prime.

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