Hot Docs 2017: Our Review of ‘Rivolta’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Hot Docs 2017, Movies by - April 26, 2017
Hot Docs 2017: Our Review of ‘Rivolta’

From a young age Michael ‘Mafiaboy’ Calce loved figuring out how things worked. By time he was nine-years-old, he was infatuated with solving the biggest puzzle he ever encountered…the internet. Curiosity and online chatrooms quickly led him down a dark path as he was eventually recruited by an elite hacker group by age thirteen. Before he knew it, he was addicted to the limitless power that hacking seemingly provided.

Hubert Davis’ documentary short Rivolta is more than a glimpse into the rise and fall of Calce, it is a cautionary tale for the audience. The film is concerned with the apathetic nature many of us have when it comes to the security of our technical devices. Often perceived as simply a computer crime, Davis’s aims to wakeup viewers to the realities of hacking, including the intimate violation of privacy of its victims.

Providing a brief examination of a specific period in time, Rivolta leaves several questions about Calce’s life unanswered. Part of this is due to the fact that Davis relies solely on Calce to narrate his own story. As a result, we do not get the full perspective of what his friends and family thought when he was hunted down by the FBI after bringing down websites such as Yahoo. Though this additional insight would have allowed a better connection between the audience and Calce, Davis’s film is effective in showing how vulnerable we really are. Rivolta is the type of film that will have you running to check the various device’s security settings once the final credits role.

Rivolta plays Hot Docs as part of the Singular Sensation(s) Shorts Program on:
Friday, April 28, 1:00 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox
Sunday, April 30, 3:30 PM, Innis Town Hall
Sunday, May 7, 6:00 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox

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Courtney is a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic and the founder of Cinema Axis. He can frequently be heard discussing film as co-host of Frameline on Radio Regent. Courtney has contributed to several publications including Leornard Maltin, That Shelf, Black Girl Nerds, and Comix Asylum Magazine. He also celebrates diversity in cinema as co-hosts of the Changing Reels podcast and is a member of the Online Film Critics Society.
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