Catfish: A case of identity loss in the digital era
If you can be anyone or anything on the Internet, and you spend most of the day being that, when are you yourself? Can you lose yourself completely? If so, does it matter? What is reality? All interesting questions.
Catfish a new documentary produced by Andrew Jarecki (Capturing The Friedmans another super documentary) is an extraordinary exploration of online identity and, with the advent of Facebook, how the lines of reality and fiction have become blurred.
Catfish centers on a riveting mystery that is completely a product of our times, where social networking, mobile devices, and electronic communication so often replace face-to-face personal contact. A warning shot from Web 2.0, the film follows co-director Ariel Schulman’s brother Nev as he embarks on a star-crossed Facebook romance.
Like The Social Network, Catfish is a mean-spirited movie for a mean-spirited age. See it. Fight about it. Believe what it has to say, but perhaps not what it shows, as we feel it involves some re-staging. Catfish will leave you with plenty of nagging questions, but wherever the truth lies, this is an extraordinary, provocative film and one that grips like a vice right up to the troubling and moving finale. Watch for yourself and let us know what you think. Our verdict: good, but fake.