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The Cleaners
22nd German Film Festival | 25.10.-11.11.2018

The Cleaners – Im Schatten der Netzwelt | The Cleaners Photo (detail): © Cinephil

The Cleaners – Im Schatten der Netzwelt

Year 2018
Runtime 95 min
Rating M18: Mature content 
Language English, Filipino
Subtitles English
Director Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck
Producer Christian Beetz, Georg Tschurtschenthaler
Screenwriter Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck
Director of Photography Axel Schneppat, Max Preiss

Enter the third-world shadow industry of digital cleaning, where the Internet rids itself of what it doesn’t like: violence, pornography and political content. Here we meet five “digital scavengers” among thousands of people outsourced from Silicon Valley whose job is to delete “inappropriate” content off the Net. In a parallel struggle, we meet people around the globe whose lives are dramatically affected by online censorship.
A typical “cleaner” must observe and rate thousands of often deeply disturbing images and videos every day, leading to lasting psychological impacts. Yet underneath their work lies profound questions around what makes an image art or propaganda, and what defines journalism. Where exactly is the point of balance for social media to be neither an unlegislated space nor a forum rife with censorship?


Gilda Vieira de Mello Award
International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights 2018
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