Baroness Beeban Kidron continues to embrace the documentary format on which she cut her filmmaking teeth – as well you might if your last fiction feature had been ‘Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason’. That film’s subtitle, in fact, might have fit comfortably on this absorbing, well-meaning essay on the perils of teenage internet use, which alternates between chastening insight and naff hand-wringing.
Kidron’s evidently an adroit interviewer: she coaxes surprisingly candid testimonies from a range of lucid kids about their plainly unhealthy online habits, though she intercuts them with an excess of educated tutting from beardy therapist types many decades their senior. Not helping the film’s cred rating are its interesting if questionably relevant digressions into the technical specifics of data storage, which amount to a lot of gawping at the internet’s sheer size.
Still, when Kidron strikes a raw nerve, she’s sensible enough not to fiddle. A 15-year-old girl’s lengthy account of the sexual abuse she endured to retrieve a beloved smartphone stolen by school bullies is shattering in its matter-of-fact delivery, justifying any amount of mumsy concern behind the camera.