Delete History (Effacer l'historique)

Comedy | 110 Minutes

Canada: Friday, March 12, 2021

No Rating

Marie is a single parent whose sex tape has leaked online and wants it taken down before her son sees it. Bertrand has been writing to Facebook asking them to do something about the cyberbullying his daughter is suffering, but to no avail. Christine is a driver for a ride share company and can't handle any more one-star reviews. They are clueless, but they are going to raise hell.
 
 
 

Cast & Crew

Movie Cast
 
  • Denis O'Hare
    Cast
     
  • Benoît Poelvoorde
    Cast
     
  • Yolande Moreau
    Cast
     
  • Corinne Masiero
    Cast
     
  • Bouli Lanners
    Cast
     
  • Michel Houellebecq
    Cast
     
  • Blanche Gardin
    Cast
     
  • Denis Podalydès
    Cast
     
  • Jackie Berroyer
    Cast
     
  • Avant Strangel
    Cast
     
Movie Crew
 
  • Benoît Delépine
    Director
     
  • Gustave Kervern
    Director
     
  • Benoît Delépine
    Writer
     
  • Gustave Kervern
    Writer
     
 

User Reviews

Public Reviews - 1 Reviews
 
  • Gregory M. - Rated it 4 out of 5

    "Delete History" In a provincial suburb, three neighbours are overtaken by new technologies and social media. There’s Marie (Blanche Gardin), who could be about to lose the respect of her son (Philippe Rebbot) because of a sex tape; and Bertrand’s (Denis Pedalydès) daughter Christine (Corinne Masiero), a victim of online bullying, whose ratings are refusing to take off. With the help of a genuine hacker (Bouli Lanners), they resolve to fight the mighty windmills of contemporary life; 'The Big Tech' companies. Maybe their battle is screwed from the beginning, but you never know. The film aptlyand accurately takes aim at the high-tech absurdities of the day, as in the scene where Marie stores her various usernames and passwords in her deep freeze! The film shows how difficult it's to direct your complaint to someone real in the high-tech world; power is intangible, faceless, globalized, unreal. The point of 'The Cloud' is that the info about us is stored in several places in the world. But there still is a physical place where you can delete data; and it's generally located in California. That's why Marie goes to San Francisco. The three protagonists are confused when confronted with the digital monster. They met thanks to 'The Yellow Vests Movement' and luckily they become friends and have been supporting each other. None of us is a single person, we're many throughout our lives. Even today, we've moments when we feel like Marie, when we say to ourself; 'What's the point?'. Especially when dealing with the new values the world comes up with that are; let's face it. Marie goes to visit 'Google' as though Google is a person. But it's a losing battle.The tech giants' power is intangible and untraceable.We're all outraged at how powerful the digital corporations are but we know all the same that we can't do otherwise, that we need to adapt. There's also something playful about digital services and yet it's extremely perverse. Christine cries during the scene on the roundabout. We're aware she's involved in 'The Yellow Vests Movement' but we didn't know how deeply. It's hugely important for her, it helped her regain her confidence in people's ability to come together and swing into action. She's tired of demonstrations leading nowhere and is on the brink of burnout herself. When you're 'Don Quixote' and keep fighting windmills, you grow tired after a while. 'The Yellow Vests Movement' perked her up again. When Christine gets to the vehicle-for-hire company she works for to find out why she isn’t getting more stars, she's asked if she wants more likes, more friends. She says; 'No, I have all the friends I need'! In the virtual world, having 10,000 friends is like having no friends at all. With digital technology, public services tend to close down and you feel the effects more in rural areas than in big cities. It's getting difficult to find a post office, a doctor, a hospital, all those services keep closing down one after the other. Although many of the situations depicted aren’t funny, you still make us laugh. That's for sure! People got fleeced; like dodos. They're encouraged to live away from city centers because it's cheaper, to get into debt and then to opt for diesel because it's cheaper; and then the price of diesel caught up with regular. No wonder people take to the streets, they think something is wrong with the system. There's a scene where Christine explains how she cracked up because of her addiction to TV shows, just like hard drugs. Christine confesses at some point that she 'OD'd' on TV shows. 'Binge' watching won't destroy your body but may damage your brain; well, it depends on the show's quality. There aren't that many shows that expand your horizons and urge you to think outside the box. The film pinpoints our contradictions regarding 'The Internet' and the digital world, Christine relies on 'The Internet' for her vehicle, for-hire business but she's upset she's getting only one star ratings. Aren't we all more or less caught up in these contradictions? Bertrand is a pigeon. He's staggeringly naïve and even, in some fields including computers, worryingly stupid. Bertrand is oh-so vulnerable. He embodies our most common contradictions. He's addicted to digital devices while sometimes falling victim to them. He's an addict and believes his salvation can only be found in the digital world as he's been online for a long time, from 'Facebook', with whom he’s in conflict, to the most alluring connection of all. His fantasies, his sexuality, his romantic life are entirely digital. All three main characters are both idle and strong-willed, overwhelmed and snowed under, but also fanciful, carefree and hopeful despite everything. "Delete History" is about "Globalization', 'Dehumanization', the whole mess that's ******* everything up, in particular whatever little we still have socially. It's a funny, scathing critique of the digital age. It's about uncontrolled globalization. Just like the dodo, man believes he's the king of the world and isn't threatened by any predator, but he comes up with artificial intelligence, which is much more powerful than he's, and now we can see the signs of what's going to happen to us. We're overwhelmed by the incredible twists and turns of today's daily life. You keep getting the uncomfortable impression of being taken for a ride. You can't speak to a real person anymore, all you get is an automated system all day. The thing about the bed slat ordered online actually happened to us. It's a bloody hassle to change that slat. Everyone keeps experiencing this kind of situation for insurance, banking, phone subscriptions; 'press 1', 'press 2'; it's so time consuming! You need to take a whole afternoon off to get something done yet, you don't even know for a fact that you'll get it done! You wonder if you're not a misfit and then you start talking to people and realize that they've all more or less experienced the same thing. It almost led-us to a burnout. Daily life has become a constant hallucination. In "Delete History", you see people in their housing projects, they don't drive to save on gas and mileage, a running gag that demonstrates pretty well that they're stranded in their own homes. Whatever you may think of 'The Yellow Vests', what you hear all the time is that on the roundabouts, people began talking to each other again, making acquaintances, reconnecting with each other. The film shows that social, economic, digital divides are all connected. Several genres found their way into "Delete History" and tragedy win out over comedy. There's something really wrong about this era. We're sitting in an old bar right now and you've to fight against 'Starbucks' and similar chains. All the interesting places are run by old men or women who will soon retire. But once they're gone, the world 'Houellebecq' has long been anticipating will be upon us. You find yourself on the losers side, or even wake up in the morning to go help people instead of making money. We all entertain that relationship to a world that's gone very wrong, where you feel cut off from future and past generations. It’s not easy to like what you see every morning when you look at yourself in the mirror, but there's always a respectable place deep down. The film deals with this economic and digital 'Darwinism'. Like many people, we feel left behind and compelled to use them. It's a slavery of sorts. You don't feel so lonely when you've your cell phone handy but you know it's not true;you're just as lonely as ever. You call people less and less, you text them to keep a connection that's not really a connection. Those new tools bring about a kind of human laziness. The film also addresses the digital surveillance that we're all subject behind our backs, and that Marie falls victim to with the sex tape blackmail. It ends up making us model citizens so that we can't be confronted with stuff we did ten years ago. We're moving towards a kind of social control that will be more and more handled by people themselves, we won't leave any trace that may be held against us, we'll lie low. It's all well-organized. In the virtual world, you don't know who to turn to when a problem comes along. That's exemplified by Marie's and Bertrand's failure to solve their problems; they either deal with security guards or robots. We could really act differently; we could progress in human terms instead of only technologically. We're so convinced we're the best because we're the most recent version of humankind, but truth be told, not necessarily, it doesn't have to work like this. The fact of the matter is, if you talk to geeks, they'll tell you the best 'iPhone' isn't necessarily the latest version. Progress isn't always linear. Technological progress involves disrupting human connection.And then it leads to the most depressing standardization you can find. In bars, people only talk about the latest TV show; it's become the sole topic of conversation. People have never made so little sense. The greatest environmentalists switch on their cell phones in the morning although we all know that high tech pollution is a fact. We don't know where all this is taking us but for the time being, it's no fun at all. "Delete History" says we've lost the battle to some degree, but it remains hopeful about people and their humanity, about what we keep carrying inside, despite everything. The film is tragic when it comes to the problems of the system, but cheerful about people. There's a part in everyone that keeps hoping other people mean them well. New technologies intensify, or even create, loneliness and isolation. We create fake communities, a large number of shams, of imaginary connections, meetings, debates etc. All those dialogues expressing hate or conventional passions, poorly written and so on, are both deafening and deathly silent. We probably missing out on a teeming, exciting world that, despite appearances, has an almost real life of it's own, now that it's branched out and diversified so much. It's definitely a comedy, desperate and hopeful, which may not be a contradiction. We like comedies that make you laugh about things that aren't funny. Any good comedy feeds on desperate situations and the laughter it provokes gives it it's optimism, it's 'raison d’etre', it's subversive power. That's what the film is all about; you can connect directly without using all the new devices. We'll have to go back to that because otherwise, we think we'll be looking at mass suicide. At the moment, there's a sudden awareness, everybody's waking up, everybody's realizing there's something wrong, and it's global. It will take a few years but we think we're heading for re-humanization: we'll find a way to use the new digital tools in a fairer social fashion. The big paradox about the internet is that it's in the hands of ultra-wealthy multinational corporations, that evade taxes to a great extent, collect lots of info from watching people; it's a combination of hard capitalism and soft fascism. But at the same time, the internet fuels collective uprisings, as was exemplified by 'The Yellow Vests Movement', 'The Arab Spring' uprisings, Iran, Hong Kong, flash mobs gathering for this or that cause. It's always been this way–two sides of the same coin. For the time being, those big '*************' are reaping the benefits but at some point, things will turn around, they have to, we'll find a way to screw those who are screwing us. The people always end up winning, there's more of us than them. We personnally think in the long run, when you look at history, you can see that, in spite of everything, there has been political and social progress over the centuries. That's also why the '*************' will lose, because theirs is a short-term view, they screw up everything to get richer now. Ours is a long-term view, that's where we've the edge. written by Gregory Mann
 

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