Revolution of the Present Movie Review
Revolution of the Present is about smart people saying smart things. Too bad the movie succumbs to stereotype: the documentary crumbles under the weight of its intellectual arguments, ultimately becoming a hard-to-follow web of theories and opinions that the layperson won’t have the patience to sit through, or even comprehend.
In other words: to be effective, it needed to dumb itself down.
Writer/director Marc Lafia clearly wanted to get his thoughts about the state of the world—and its future—across… I’m just not sure what that point is. He’s drawn together interviews with dozens of professors, intellectuals and people with foreign accents who I assume are smart because they have foreign accents to talk about how the Internet hasn’t connected the world in the way we think, how we’re just scratching the surface of social paradigms and a dozen other arguments that blend together into an 80-minute onslaught of ideas that is as exhausting as this run-on sentence.
The unfortunate thing is that Revolution of the Present isn’t poorly made. Utilizing a mix of interviews, animations and various other footage, the documentary is visually interesting from start to finish. And when you focus on a specific discussion—or Lafia allows you to focus on a specific discussion—there are interesting things presented.
It’s just too convoluted for its own good. Lafia needed to strip away the side details and make clear the one, two or three key points he wanted to highlight, circling back to them repeatedly throughout the production.
I’m a smart person, but Revolution of the Present made me feel dumb—and that’s no way for any documentary to succeed.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.