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Jul 30 2019

"Kathy Griffin: One Hell of a Story"and "The Great Hack"

by Eurocheese

Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story's one night only theatrical event (Wednesday,July 31st) and Netflix's disturbing expose on digital exploitationThe Great Hackcouldn't be more different in tone,but they would make an interesting double feature.I couldn't have imagined either film would exist just a few years ago.In a decade,I wonder what we'll be saying about both of them...

Kathy proved her eternal D list status when the president personally came after her,as he has with a number of female or minority celebrities over the last few years.She was the first,though,to be treated by the government as if she was actually attempting to take terrorist action against him.I personally have always found Kathy's smack-talking,wink to the camera style of comedy hilarious,especially when she has always praised celebrities who allow themselves to be in on the joke.She always went after the egomaniacs,so she didn't think for a minute that one was about to stretch her almost to the breaking point.

The combination of her current show – once again full of laughs,but cutting deeper in moments when you realize the gravity of her recent situation – and a documentary showcasing what this administration has done to her,feels like a perfect pairing.It's a surprisingly joyful sit and ultimately feels like a victory for the comedienne.She's now facing the greatest challenge of her life – proving that she won't allow herself to be victimized.She has flat out stated she didn't like the Dixie Chicks comparison – and certainly,being detained at international airports and spending thousands to avoid criminal prosecution is disturbing – but it's easy to imagine that,much like the brilliantShut Up & Singdid some years back,this film will serve as a time capsule reflection of who we are as a country at the moment.Even if you're not the biggest Griffin fan,the idea that the government would come after an individual in this way is an eye-opener.Thankfully,it's made her act sharper and more relevant.If you wonder why more comedy hasn't taken on the insanity we've been seeing inside this country recently,look no further thanKathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story.

On the flip side of the coin,if you want a gut punch of answers without any comedic filling,watch Netflix'sThe Great Hack.I have an appreciation for documentarians who manage to be in the right place at the right time,and when it comes to the scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica,there may be no better narrator than Brittany Kaiser,who served as their previous Director of Business Development.Kaiser spends part of her time laying out the exact nature of her company's use of personal data – which,spoiler alert,is absolutely terrifying – and then spends time rationalizing her behavior,seemingly unable to connect these actions with what she herself has done.It's a fascinating character study,a grim depiction of our digital reality,and a seemingly impossible conspiracy theory come to life,all tied in one.I actually work in the digital world and had a number of questions answered but I guarantee none of them gave me any peace of mind.Walk into this film expecting to be infuriated.

The construction of the film is brilliant.It plays out like a thriller,but one that we are living right now.It stresses the importance of understanding how we are being profiled.While various implications of past political efforts are important,the film is always clear that if democracy is increasingly for sale,our responsibility to fight for our voice is now more crucial than ever.This film is not a political hit job;it's an attempt to open our eyes to what we need to consider moving forward.

These two films are absolutely worth seeing,but must come with a warning: both will confirm that feeling in your gut that we are living in a very dangerous time.I don't know if it's better to face the truth with a sense of humor or a dogged determination to change it,but either way,both of these films deliver.

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