Programmed by Jean-Sébastien Chauvin
In this deeply personal video diary, a young researcher tries to make sense of her fascination for the film “The Pain of Others” by Penny Lane. A deep dive into the discomforting world of YouTube and online conspiracies, that challenges traditional notions of what documentary cinema is, or should be.
Why did she find the images of Penny Lane’s film so unbearable at first? Starting out with this initial mystery, Chloé Galibert-Laîné delivers a methodical analysis of the film, widening her investigations to the YouTube channels of the three women supposedly suffering from this disease. “Watching the Pain of Others” takes the form of a survey where personal considerations are combined with a cold examination of the facts. The filmmaker needed this rational basis, this constant anchoring to reality to make her way as she ventured through the haze, from imaginary illnesses to conspiracy theories, that unfurls ad infinitum in the echo chamber of the Internet. How does one avoid being devoured by the viral images and testimonies, by the monstrous multiplication of affects, the collective imitation, the programmed empathy? This short analytical summary, dense yet clear, is the perfect antidote.
Film critic and director