In his unmistakable, Bavarian-accented deadpan voiceover, the great Werner Herzog (Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Encounters at the End of the World) guides us through this eccentric, entertaining and enlightening meditation on our interconnected digital world.
Since its humble inception in 1969—where it began as a short message shared between two computers—the internet has become, as Herzog describes it, “one of our biggest revolutions.” Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World investigates the history of the internet’s integration into every aspect of our lives and how it became an essential part of our public infrastructure. Through interviews with researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs at the cutting edge of digital technologies—and taking time for his trademark, often wonderfully comic digressions—Herzog considers the new possibilities in health care, robotics and transportation opened up by the internet, and speculates on how humanity and the world will be impacted by these developments.
These promises of a bright future are tempered by the darker realities presented in the film, from self-imposed internet exiles living off the grid in West Virginia as they recover from “internet overdose” to the victims of online harassment. Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World ultimately strikes an ambivalent tone, and refrains from any final judgments on the assimilation of the digital sphere into our daily lives, instead leaving the viewer to consider the implications on their own lives and hopes for the future.
“These discrete “reveries of the connected world” represent the latest of Herzog’s heady explorations of what it means to be human (and even post-human), rendered in his characteristically personal, decidedly analog style.” (Justin Chang, Variety)
“As it stands today, Lo and Behold is an entertaining exploration into an ever-shifting discussion, but, with Herzog’s specific charms, it will no doubt be a significant time capsule—or ominous document of warning—in the years to come.” (Jordan Raup, The Film Stage)