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Watching Science: Big brother is watching you…

Swinging music and runners in flashy outfits: it's a coming and going of people for the Bredase Singelloop. A weird sensation if you are immersed in the silence of a cinema room later on. Chassé Cinema was the scene of the Science Film Weekend for two days. With films and documentaries that have a link with BredaPhoto Festival theme To Infinity and Beyond.

Short movie

A full cinema room is ready for the third film block consisting of New Entity, a short film by Andree van Gastel and Pre-crime, a documentary by Matthias Heeder & Monika Hielscher.

Blop

Andree made New Entity by controlling 3D animations through algorithms. Van Gastel has just graduated from St. Joost. In New Entity we see many numbers passing by and blop-like figures that float in and out of space.

Truth

Pre-crime is a documentary from 2017. The film of 88 minutes makes it clear that the science fiction from the movie Minority Report has become the truth. Technology used by the police is so far-developed today that crimes can be predicted in advance and that people can already be arrested before they think of something criminal. How? By linking all the data that are available to each other. If you already have the illusion that there is still some form of privacy in your life, you should doubt it after seeing this movie. If governments want, they know everything about you. Via your smartphone for example. They see who you are, who your friends and family are, where you walk and walked and what you do is no secret to them. Best scary.

Being watched

And do they really use those systems in practice? Yes, in the U.S. for example, but also in England and in Germany. People are screened in advance who may be candidates to commit a crime. They can be picked up or given a warning that they are being watched. The American Robert Mc Daniel, for example, who suddenly has three policemen at his door to warn him that they are watching him. Or Londoner Smurfz who receives a letter and can read that it is not too late to change his life.

Happy?

Pre-Crime shows what is possible, but also asks the question whether we should be happy with these developments. For example, almost no one knows how the algorithms work, and what about human rights. Can this all be done legally? It is also emphasized that the social aspect in these systems remains well behind. Or as one of the interviewees says: code has no conscience.

Visitor Rick Di Lorenzo was fascinated by the film, but found the docu a bit on the ‘long side’. “I like almost everything on Facebook. That gives me the illusion that they cannot form an image of me, “he says with a smile. “I knew a lot about technology, but that it was already that far? That was also an eye-opener for me.”

Report: Leon Weterings