• Joshua Buck

The Great Hack (2019) Review

I was very intrigued by this documentary that highlights how important the use of data has become in the world today and whilst it is easy for people to suggest that the data scandal where Cambridge Analytica took millions of peoples Facebook data and this documentary focuses on how easy it was for the company to influence people and what they saw online, the documentary tries to combine two messages of Cambridge Analyticas accountability and how important data is in the world today.

I was very sceptical of this Netflix Original documentary because I have only watched one before and that was The Disappearance of Madeline McCann, which I felt rather indifferent about. However, this documentary was just a feature length and not a series so I was automatically drawn to it more. Now I will try and evaluate this documentary as a complete neutral in terms of political opinions and try to focus on the documentary as itself.

As a documentary it outlined the scandal of Cambridge analytica and how they used data. However, I think there was many more narrative branches that this documentary could have used whether it be interviewing politicians on how it was even possible that something like this could have happened or interviewing voters or the ‘persuadables’ to find out what they think of the whole scandal which may have worked better off as a series rather than a feature documentary. I think taking multiple branches would have been a lot better than following the whistle blower Brittany Kaiser.

Having Brittany as the lead was an interesting one to take because as much as I admire her for coming out and talking about the whole scandal, I didn’t feel much sympathy for her as the documentary probably would’ve liked to. However, it did end up painting a clearer image that the owner of Cambridge Analytica was to blame causing the accountability that I believe the documentary wanted to make.

I believe that this documentary was a real eye opener and was a controversial one at the least which I think all documentaries should be however, I felt like it was a lot of interviews and not enough B-roll in my opinion and I felt like the B-roll they had was just Brittany Kaiser reacting to the Cambridge Analytica investigation.

A documentary that really does open up an incite into the scandal but didn’t grab me 100%.

I rate this documentary 3/5.

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