Directed by Ivo van Aart | Netherlands | 2020 | 1 hr 26 mins
Columnist, author, and single mother Femke Boot (Katja Herbers) firmly believes that through civil conversation and kindness, we can make the world a better place. She instils values in her teenage daughter, chief among them that freedom of speech is a vital component of a functioning society. But despite being a headstrong role model for her daughter, Femke is quietly vulnerable, and is not immune to the pitfalls of having an online presence. She is tormented by a number of social media accounts that spew brutal misogynist hate and anonymous death threats in response to her benign articles about the simple pleasures of soft boiled eggs. Her well-meaning boyfriend implores her to ignore the comments, but Femke can’t help herself. Her anger rising, Femke finally snaps when she discovers that her seemingly friendly neighbour is one of her online aggressors. Transformed by her rage, Femke embarks on a bloody quest for revenge, but as she faces off against the horde of keyboard warriors, she must confront the irony of what she has become: a violent manifestation of everything she condemned in her staunch defence of free speech.
No one is safe in this fiendishly comic and sharply acerbic take on free speech, censorship, and online cancel culture. Part revenge thriller, part cautionary tale, THE COLUMNIST presents a dark social satire that lays bare the hypocrisy and blurred morals of the hellscape that is the internet.
Screening with HELLEVATE + DOUBLE TAP + SELFIE