HOLD ME BACK (Fantasia 2021) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Thirtysomething Mitsuko lives alone, but she is not alone. Accustomed to her solitary, single lifestyle (she prefers the more empowering term “solo”), Mitsuko is frequently kept company by a voice in her head who, at different stages, soothes, comforts, provokes and outright argues with her. The voice is that of a man known only as “A”, and whether he is a product of some kind of psychological delusion, a guardian angel of sorts, or just a wholesome, run-of-the-mill internal interlocutor with a gender twist, the film encourages us at different points to read him in multiple ways.

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DEAR HACKER (Fantasia 2021) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Noting one day that a flashing light on her webcam had been activated without her intervention, filmmaker Alice Lenay wanted to know why. Was someone watching her? Was there something else responsible? Ostensibly framed as an investigation of sorts, the documentary consists of a series of online video conversations between Lenay and a number of experts, friends, and expert-friends to try and get to the bottom of what was happening.

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