Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Trust": a film about the dangers of chatrooms for teens

Families have varied experiences with their teenagers using the Internet.  While sometimes kids do very well on their own and innovate new companies, in many more cases people get into trouble.  The idea of a “family computer” certainly de-emphasizes personal ownership of one’s own expression and activity.

The independent film “Trust” (2010), by David Schwimmer explores this problem, by depicting a 14 year old girl Annie (Liana Liberato) who meets a troll in a chat room.  He turns out to be a 35 year old man, who has an obviously illegal tryst with her in a motel room (set in Chicago).  Annie tells a high school best friend (Catherine Keener), who in turn tells the high school, which in turn contacts police.  The father (Clive Owen) is very upset that the school system went over his head. Annie, is also upset that her father and "best friend" involved themselves and made her "unpopular" at school.  

Eventually the father plays “Peej” (as in NBC Datelines’ famous program about a sting) and the man is apprehended.  But the family faces serious emotional fracture.

Yes, in this case, the criminal activity is heterosexual (as were most cases on the Dateline series).
It’s interesting to compare the issues presented in this movie (through chat rooms) with other issues like cyberbullying (Oct. 3). I think an indie film on “online reputation” and the job market would be a good thing, although my own script deals with that.

The official site (Millennium films) is here

The film can be rented on YouTube for $2.99.

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