« March 15, 2013

SXSW Film Reviews: 'TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard'

A third-person video diary about the 2009 trial against filesharing giant Pirate Bay
Review by Richard Whittaker

TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard

Special Events, North American premiere
D: Simon Klose

With VOD and digital downloads so ubiquitous, it's almost impossible to remember that only four years ago, the Internet was the film industry's bane, and the Pirate Bay filesharing site its great demon. Klose's film is less a documentary and more a third-person video diary of the 2009 trial of the site's four main managers and their journey through the oddly relaxed Swedish legal system. Klose's deliberately flat narrative tone – interspersed with lyrical shots of servers and cables – leaves it unclear how much he endorses them and their increasingly straw-man fight against the creative industry. However, possibly inadvertently, he takes a portrait of the worst side of the IT industry – misogynistic, arrogant, and prone to confusing "can be done" with "should be done." Klose has already put the whole film on YouTube. That's his choice. The Pirate Bay defendants never gave thousands of filmmakers, big and small, studio and indie, the same luxury.

Thursday, March 14, 11:30am, Vimeo