Directed by: Greg Barker
You may love it or you may loathe it, but chances are you’d struggle to live without it. Each and everyday our reliance on digital technology continues to grow, and at the heart of it all is the Internet. What was once simply a superhighway for information has grown in to an invaluable source of knowledge for one and all.
This brief but brilliant documentary from award-winning director Greg Barker (Manhunt & We Are The Giant) investigates the impact social media has had on journalism. It centers on the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, which saw a slew of Internet sleuths take to Twitter and Reddit to try and bring to justice those responsible.
With testimonies from established journalists as well as those social media users who endeavored to seek out the perpetrators, The Thread offers a frank and fascinating insight in to the protruding power social media gives people in the modern age.
Concentrating on a single case study naturally prohibits Barker from offering a comprehensive study of his subject, but its arguable that widening the net would have caused the film to loose much of its emphasis. In this more focused form, The Thread is able to make a much greater impact.
The pacey editing immerses you within this timely and, at times, terrifying technological tale. Many of the facts are chilling, particularly when the attention turns to the innocents who were unjustly accused of being involved. The testimonials meanwhile, starkly show how the Internet has transformed in to the ultimate tool for humans. What it doesn’t tell you though, is whether or not the reality of this is a good thing… that’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself.
The Thread is available on VOD from 13 April.