At first, we’re laughing along with the contestants of CET: a pastime in which young athletic men are tied down, and other young athletic men tickle them. You can’t help but giggle - it’s involuntary.
Then, we're all gasping. Blasphemies, expletives and frantic whispers fill the auditorium. Nobody’s laughing.
This film is almost unbelievable. It all started when reporter-lite Farrier stumbled upon the “sport”, and decided to make a light-hearted, Theroux-esque video feature. Instead, he uncovered a trapdoor down into a malicious world of money, exploitation and trauma. We don’t want to give too much away, but this goes way, way beyond tickling.
It’s always had a dark side. Chinese tickle torture was practiced by the Han dynasty, the Romans used to dip someone’s feet in salt and then bring goats to lick it off, and Nazi prison guards tickled inmates’ feet with goose feathers.
This documentary, though, is to do with the modern dangers of the internet: the danger of anonymity, a shadowy predator, the threat of public shaming. It’s also about something much older, and very human. The desire for absolute dominance, whatever the cost.
It’s not perfect: the narrative feels unfinished (perhaps because it isn’t: lawsuits are flying around everywhere). But do go - it’s a bewildering, sobering look at us all.
|What||Tickled film review|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
19 Aug 16 – 19 Oct 16, 12:00 AM
|Price||£determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here for more details|