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Who is watching you?

21 April 2010

One of the world’s leading experts on paranoia Dr Daniel Freeman, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London and the Denmark Hill campus are to feature in a documentary being screened in cinemas around the UK from Thursday, 29 April, kicking off with a special premier in London.

Erasing David is a contemporary and cutting-edge documentary about privacy, surveillance and the database state.

The story follows filmmaker David Bond who is curious to know how much private companies and the government know about him. David leaves his pregnant wife and young child, and attempts to disappear for a month. He challenges private investigators to track him down utilising information they can find in the public domain.  The team chillingly trace everything there is to know about David and his family to ultimately pinpoint his whereabouts.

Interviewees for the programme include David Blunkett, Henry Porter, Timothy Garton Ash and Helena Kennedy. Dr Freeman’s role was to comment on the potential emotional effects of surveillance and to provide psychological support for David during the experiment. Dr Freeman said: 'Erasing David is a fascinating and entertaining exploration of the swathes of personal information gathered about us virtually every day, from surveillance cameras to internet shopping to government records, and much more. But perhaps most compelling of all is the documentary’s examination of the psychological effects of this data collection on one person, the film-maker David Bond, whose attempts to disappear for thirty days are thwarted by private detectives able to track him down by following his unwitting data trail. With pieces direct to camera, David reveals how uncertainty about what people might know about him, and how it might be used, sows suspicion, fear and mistrust.'

'The more he dwells on the issue of surveillance during his disappearance, the greater his fears become, peaking – ironically – after he has fled to the wilds of rural Wales. Among the many questions Erasing David raises is how we can balance the need for security and data collection with measures to safeguard our emotional well-being.'

The London premiere will be at the Brixton Ritzy and will be followed by a live Q&A discussion with Will Self, David Davis, Shami Chakrabarti and Michael Nyman. The debate will be filmed and beamed live to all participating cinemas around the country: London (Kensal Rise, Greenwich, Brixton, Stratford, Islington), Prestatyn, Winchester, York, Newcastle, Exeter, Stratford-upon-Avon, Southampton, Lancaster, Norwich, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Brighton, Bath, Henley-on-Thames, Oxford and Aberdeen, with other cinemas to be announced soon.

Erasing David was produced by Green Lions and will be available to view on More4 on 4 May as part of the True Stories strand.

For more information, follow the link: 



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