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Movie Reviews

[SXSW ’23] Another Body’ review: Frightening look at the effects of deepfake porn

There is a sense of fear and hoplessness.

Another Body hooks the audience in its opening seconds. It tells the story of Taylor Klein, a young college student who discovers that pornography involving her is circulating online. The catch is she never filmed any of it and has no idea where it came from. She soon goes one a frustrating search for justice that leads her to the darkest parts of the internet.

The internet has changed the world in a number of ways. It has made communicating easier, allowed for entertainment to be shared in ways that have permanently transformed the way music and movies are consumed, and has made multiplayer gaming a phenomenon. It has also altered the pornography industry in ways no one could have expected. One of the more recent changes is the increasingly popularity of deepfake porn, and while Another Body does not go too deep into the details, it does an excellent job of conveying terror.

Deepfake porn changes the lives of its victims in a number of ways. They become the target of disgusting and threatening comments while also living in constant fear of friends and loved ones finding the videos. Taylor (whose name and face have been altered in a clever touch that demonstrates how easy deepfakes can be done) changes over the course of the documentary. Through video diaries, she starts as someone who is scared to a person who wants to know what happened and why. She is frustrated, angry, and scared, but never accepting or vindicated.

In effect, Taylor becomes an avatar for one of the running themes of Another Body. A disproportionate amount of deepfake porn involves women. These victims are shamed and told they deserve what they are getting. Though YouTuber Gibi ASMR bravely takes a stand after she is targeted, she also is an example of how few options are available to those used in deepfake porn. When trying to give Taylor advice, Gibi lets her know the sad fact is that the best thing to do is ignore the situation and move on.

[SXSW '23] Another Body' review: Frightening look at the effects of deepfake porn

By the end of the film, there is still little victims of deepfake porn can do. There is a sense of hopelessness that is only exacerbated when a police officer not only tells Taylor that the person was well within their rights to make the video, but asks her what she did to make them want to make the fake clip. Taylor’s fight over the course of Another Body proves it is not necessary to idly accept the abuse, but it also another example of unchecked violence against women.

Another Body makes its World Premiere at SXSW

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