Hot Docs 2017 Review: “Pre-Crime” (2017) ★★★★★

We all are going insane about privacy, security and being free from massive surveillance of NSA or any other organization depending on which part of the world you are in. But the question I really mean to ask is, do you prefer to live in a society where your phones won’t be tracked, your outgoing data from computer won’t be analyzed and the crime that is being planned across the street is about to be successfully executed? Or you’d rather live in a society where all the above mentioned will be tracked, you won’t have privacy whatsoever but the crime that was planned, again, across the street was successfully identified by the police and prevented with no harm done to anyone?

Well, the answer is not an easy one to provide but Monika Hielscher and Matthias Heeder’s film “PRE-CRIME” is what probably always wanted to see to have a better understanding of the meaning of living in a free society or in a society of future now where an innovative system is in use to prevent an upcoming crime before it even occurs. Oh, that’s right. It does sound fascinating, incredibly interesting and truly important as this feature will help you to cross the Brooklyn Bridge in the middle of night without being attacked by a criminal. But the algorithm used to predict crime has no conscience, and won’t know will you be the one who should be protected or the one who needs to be locked away to protect others… This film provides so many interesting questions, I am afraid, it was too much to process…

The term “Pre-Crime” comes from the movie “Minority Report” in which prediction is being made about something an individual has not done yet but is going to as it states in the beginning of the film. As soon as the computer completes its analysis, an arrest can be made before a potential criminal gets an opportunity to commit the crime. But what is interesting about the system itself is something I honestly was looking forward to. The police will come over to knock on your door, ask a few questions, provide you with the warning paper with all the consequences you might face if you indeed decide to proceed with the plan.

Of course, as you listen to Robert MacDaniel, who ended up on that black list not because of all the minor crimes he was involved in, but due to his relationship with other people who were actually responsible for a criminal act. The film also reveals that the software such as Beware is also in actively used by the intelligence community in order to research Social Media and gather information that can be potentially identified as a threat. But there are, of course, negative sides of this surveillance as well but not as much as its positive impact on society, where you can go out in the middle of the street and not being afraid to be robbed by somebody.

PRE-CRIME can be considered as a controversial documentary piece but only if you’re against all the safety measures that’s being taken, whether you or me like it or not. But it also gives you a food of thought, educates and helps you to be prepared for the future that is already happening outside of your house, it just depends on how observant you are. In the end, PRE-CRIME is a movie, honestly saying, I always expected to be made, and I mean it in a good way. It’s important, might be shocking, but innovative in a way you hardly can believe it. It is so captivating and educational that you won’t even notice how the time passed by. And yet, you will have a plenty of time to think about in what kind of society you want to live… and that is not something myself or a film can help you to reach to that point faster… But I guess it is up to each individual, which is over seven billions….


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