Thursday, April 9, 2015

Who Am I: The Opposite Of Size Matters As Superpower In Cyberspace Wikifreaks Noir

The reign of the 90 pound weakling may have indeed arrived, as the cyberspace era has seemingly switched up exactly which forces and in fact body builds, get to call the shots historically over everybody else. And the German cyber-noir Who Am I: Kein System Ist Siche, directed by Baran Bo Odar, appears to be doing just that as well, sending the classic standoff of might makes right into the dustbin of history. Along with all sorts of militaristic implements that seem to have met their match in the far more lightweight and invisible tactics of brainiacs on a mission, with the potential of bringing armies to their knees one day in the not very distant future.

Tom Schilling is Benjamin in Who Am I, a scrawny workingclass German youth in a deep funk. Overcome by a sense of facelessness in the modern world, Benjamin mourns his lack of any sense of purpose, recognition or identity. Delivering pizzas by day and dreaming of superhero ascension by night, and the sort of kid reject who was even deemed too boring to get bullied or beaten up in grade school.

Until, that is, he discovers his cyber-geek skills. Which progressively take a more subversive turn, somewhat in retaliation against the indifferent world around him. And he is soon teaming up with a rowdy Darknet posse under the influence of a Ritalin hacker high, and with an assorted menu of giddy rebel impulses against society. Starting off with infiltrating a neo-nazi convocation and revising the video presentation with mocking Hitler-toons, to sabotaging the stock market, banks, the German military and pharmaceutical corporations.

But when the gang takes on the German intelligence espionage headquarters, they may have more than met their match. Which is where this stylishly hyperactive, high IQ thriller detours into more conventional, less inventive subplots along this particular underground information highway. Involving a sour female spy with a malfunctioning uterus in pursuit, multiple hacker standoff wars that may have confounded even Julian Assange, and something to do with four lost and found cubes of sugar.

Who Am I: Kein System Ist Sicher [No System Is Safe] is a feature of the KINO! 2015 Festival Of German Films, taking place at the Cinema Village in New York City through April 16th. The Festival will showcase ten feature films, along with German Short Film Night.

KINO! 2015  is organized by German Films, with the participation of the Goethe-Institut New York, Deutsches Haus at New York University and The Village Voice.

Information about Kino! 2015 is online at:

Prairie Miller

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