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Erasing David [Import]


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Amazon.com: 8 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
No Escape And No Anonymity--An Absolutely Riveting Concept Lost In An Uncertain Execution June 17 2011
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
As the intriguing documentary "Erasing David" began, I suddenly got all excited. An absolutely killer premise is introduced and I knew that I was going to love this film. Taking on an important and timely topic, filmmaker and star David Bond wants to explore the corporate and governmental intrusion into our privacy. Ridiculous amounts of our personal information is stored in various databases and, in many ways, this can lead to unexpectedly negative consequences. I think that's a given--identity theft and fraud have certainly been the fastest growing areas of criminal enterprise in recent years. And it's all because our private data is accessible, either purposefully or by accident, in more ways and to more people than we can possibly imagine. To prove his point, Bond tackles a fantastic experiment. Leaving his family behind, he wants to go off the grid for thirty days and see if a private investigation firm can track him down based on publicly accessible information.

Some of the set-up scenes are really well done. It was especially interesting to see Bond contact various corporate enterprises and request reports as to the information they kept on him. Also, the more intimate sequences involving his wife and daughter had a genuine warmth and humor. He also visits a couple of people who had issues with mistaken identity or fraudulent activity on their names--and it's all but impossible to unring that bell! But again, it's not a revelatory concept in this day and age. I've heard stories much worse than those presented here. Strangely, though, the most important aspect of the film feels a bit thin. The main part of Bond's documentary is him going to ground--it is an idea and concept that I found genuinely compelling. Early scenes, however, seem fairly contrived. And later moments veer into over-the-top territory.

Set up as a thriller of sorts, the investigators immediately dig up Bond's trash. Inside are complete travel arrangements, credit card receipts (with numbers fully intact), and other personal information that should have been shredded. On his trip, he visits his father and plans to visit his mother--not much of a challenge. He also never quits using his blackberry or answering email. As this is not government surveillance, they don't track him this way except when he reacts to a specific email they send him. All of this is fine, if rudimentary, but things get a bit wacky as a paranoid Bond searches for bugs in his possessions or freaks out in the middle of a desolate countryside. Bugs, really? I'd be more worried about that Blackberry. The thrilling conclusion is done like some big operation--but even I could have found him. Seriously.

Bond had an excellent idea for a film. He presents an important topic--one we should all think about--in an entertaining way. But somewhere, the film misses its potential. In this day and age, when people are so savvy to tracking techniques by watching television and movies, the grand experiment and the steps utilized within it just aren't that compelling or surprising. There is a great movie to be made using the same idea and I most definitely want to see it. "Erasing David," however, just seems too thin and obvious. But a nice try. KGHarris, 6/11.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
No real surprises here. Dec 2 2010
By NeoBK - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Erasing David is a documentary about how much everyone out there already knows about our personal lives and entertains the possibility of someone being able to regain total privacy in their life. From the government to the businesses we deal with online and offline, there is a ton of data that is collected and stored on us that can be used in many different ways. Internet providers keep track of every website that we visit and hold this information for at least 12 months. Cell phone companies keep a record of every call we make and every incoming call we receive for at least 12 months. Online websites that we use also keep track of our personal information and buying habits as well. Social websites like LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter are taking over our daily routines and in doing so we are intentionally giving up our privacy. The problem is that it leaves us exposed and vulnerable. Tweet about going to Chicago for the weekend and everyone knows about it. Even the guy who is planning to break into your house tonight. Write a blurb about going out to a club downtown on your facebook page and anyone of your 10,000 friends, that you really know nothing about anyway, could show up at the club and follow you home. Sure these are extreme examples, but continue to tell everyone where you live, work and where your going to be all the time and eventually it will lead to bad things.

I liked the idea of this documentary but was disappointed with the result. There were so many things he did wrong that I am surprised he lasted as long as he did. There were so many simple mistakes that he made.

1. Using a cell phone
2. Using a payphone
3. Using a computer at an internet cafe
4. Going to see and stay with friends and family.
5. Doing an interview with someone who posted it on the internet along with the location.

There are probably more mistakes but these are basic things you can NOT do if you don't want to be tracked. Of course the person tracking you has to have access to the right technology, but the whole basis of the documentary was to disappear and not be found. I think the final straw was when he was caught. I will try not to give away too many details, but let's just say he was with his wife at the time. Did he really not think that people would use his wife, children or any other family member to track him down?

Other than that I thought it was well made and that David was an intersting character. Even though the study was done in the UK I think that almost everything applies here in the US. The only thing that is different would be the local camera system. He talks about how within a 100 meter radius of his home there were about 200 surveillance cameras. I can't think of any city in the US that has that amount of surveillance on a full time basis.

In conclusion, the only way for anyone to truly erase themselves would be to give up everything and leave their past behind.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Everybody knows everything about everyone, sort of Sept. 24 2011
By Robin Benson - Published on Amazon.com
An interesting idea for a documentary but there was hardly anything new here. A thing that never seems to get mentioned in these sort of 'we-know-everything-about-you' programs is that they apply to everybody, especially if you have electronic dealings with the state or corporations. The hypothetical 'watchers' are also watched. There isn't some central database with details of every bit of our lives, it's scattered electronically all over the place and even governments, with a desire instant information, find it a hard job to cope with so much data. Clearly not everything is known about everybody, otherwise lots of criminals would be caught in no time at all.

Director David Bond wanted to vanish for a period of time and see if two people-finders could find him. He really didn't try hard enough. He might just as easily have gone to stay with a friend and stayed indoors for three months, stretching his legs in the back yard after dark.

I thought the documentary was hard work. The music was excessively loud, filming and editing followed the predictable documentary style of shaky hand-held camera work, loads of close-ups of talking heads, bland seconds of nothing in particular being shown to move the whole thing along while a voice-over explained some point.

Another director with a tighter brief might have wrapped it all up in thirty minutes.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
No Escape And No Anonymity--An Absolutely Riveting Concept Lost In An Uncertain Execution June 17 2011
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
As the intriguing documentary "Erasing David" began, I suddenly got all excited. An absolutely killer premise is introduced and I knew that I was going to love this film. Taking on an important and timely topic, filmmaker and star David Bond wants to explore the corporate and governmental intrusion into our privacy. Ridiculous amounts of our personal information is stored in various databases and, in many ways, this can lead to unexpectedly negative consequences. I think that's a given--identity theft and fraud have certainly been the fastest growing areas of criminal enterprise in recent years. And it's all because our private data is accessible, either purposefully or by accident, in more ways and to more people than we can possibly imagine. To prove his point, Bond tackles a fantastic experiment. Leaving his family behind, he wants to go off the grid for thirty days and see if a private investigation firm can track him down based on publicly accessible information.
Some of the set-up scenes are really well done. It was especially interesting to see Bond contact various corporate enterprises and request reports as to the information they kept on him. Also, the more intimate sequences involving his wife and daughter had a genuine warmth and humor. He also visits a couple of people who had issues with mistaken identity or fraudulent activity on their names--and it's all but impossible to unring that bell! But again, it's not a revelatory concept in this day and age. I've heard stories much worse than those presented here. Strangely, though, the most important aspect of the film feels a bit thin. The main part of Bond's documentary is him going to ground--it is an idea and concept that I found genuinely compelling. Early scenes, however, seem fairly contrived. And later moments veer into over-the-top territory.

Set up as a thriller of sorts, the investigators immediately dig up Bond's trash. Inside are complete travel arrangements, credit card receipts (with numbers fully intact), and other personal information that should have been shredded. On his trip, he visits his father and plans to visit his mother--not much of a challenge. He also never quits using his blackberry or answering email. As this is not government surveillance, they don't track him this way except when he reacts to a specific email they send him. All of this is fine, if rudimentary, but things get a bit wacky as a paranoid Bond searches for bugs in his possessions or freaks out in the middle of a desolate countryside. Bugs, really? I'd be more worried about that Blackberry. The thrilling conclusion is done like some big operation--but even I could have found him. Seriously.

Bond had an excellent idea for a film. He presents an important topic--one we should all think about--in an entertaining way. But somewhere, the film misses its potential. In this day and age, when people are so savvy to tracking techniques by watching television and movies, the grand experiment and the steps utilized within it just aren't that compelling or surprising. There is a great movie to be made using the same idea and I most definitely want to see it. "Erasing David," however, just seems too thin and obvious. But a nice try. KGHarris, 6/11.
The film is a little bit gimmicky, but generally works very well July 15 2011
By DVD Verdict - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Judge Daryl Loomis, DVD Verdict-- David Bond, in what might be considered a questionable move, starts a game of hide-and-seek with a pair of private investigators, he attempts to drop off the grid for thirty days while they try to find him using whatever methods they have at their disposal. The result is Erasing David, a sometimes fascinating documentary that looks at the myriad ways in which the government, corporations, and random citizens can access an individual's private information for any purpose they desire.

The gimmick of Erasing David is clearly inspired by the work of Morgan Spurlock, but his attempts to hide only take up a third of the film. The rest is interviews with experts on security and footage of the weeks that came before his escape, which seeded the idea for his journey. The film is at its best in these scenes, which detail Bond's acquisition of his own information from various companies and websites.

Erasing David has been given a solid DVD treatment by MPI, better than most documentaries get. The image transfer and sound are both average; it looks and sounds cheap because it is, but it's all decent. The extras are quite good, however. A series of interviews with some of the experts who appear in the film give some deeper perspective into their respective fields. They total about twenty minutes and all are valuable. A debate with Bond and a panel at the premiere is less essential, but mildly interesting. A group of deleted scenes, labeled as short films, are the best of the bunch, with additional information on biorhythms, ID cards, and the massive web of data you leave across the web. A trailer closes us out.

The film is a little bit gimmicky, but Erasing David generally works very well. Like the information Bond presents, the film has a ton of little thing that don't mean a lot individually, but together make for a compelling, occasionally disturbing story that makes me want to read those user agreements more closely...although I probably won't. Recommended.
-Full review at dvdverdict.com

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