BLOOM, a feature film competing for the GexDoc section, starts with this chilling statement from a young woman who, during a live stream, shares a piece of her intimacy.
“The only reason I opened an account at 13 years old was because I wanted to talk to someone”. BLOOM, a feature film competing for the GexDoc section, starts with this chilling statement from a young woman who, during a live stream, shares a piece of her intimacy. It is not virtual: the internet and the new media never have been; because real people have access to them. Even more so, it is not virtual for those who admit to “not talking to anyone for a long time” and “when I say not talking, I mean literally”. Director Fanie Pelletier’s camera lingers on fragments of youthful stories. They are all very brief, as almost “zipped up” and compressed tales. In just a few moments, in a very voracious and seemingly superficial manner, they narrate the characters’ inner world. “I am… aromantic, in the sense that when I look at females, I think I like males; when I look at males, I think I like females. I don’t know if I’ll fall in love in the future. Surely, when I talked to a girl I had met through TikTok and expressed my point of view, she seemed surprised that I had feelings too”. And further: “I discovered the word ‘abrosexual’, which means ‘fluid sexuality’”. The director, present at the discussion, observes a generation that is hyperconnected yet lonely. They experience an internal struggle with the obsession over their own image and a need for self-assertion. Everything is mixed with a sense of alienation. The new media should not be demonized; instead, they become a privileged observatory from which to study tomorrow’s adults. Fanie Pelletier has always been attracted by the videos circulating on YouTube, but she decided to make a documentary feature film when she noticed a wide range of private videos that young people create through these platforms. They also check the peaks of interaction and the average time other followers spent on their profiles. “These videos struck me because they seemingly are infinite in number and global but, in reality, they hide loneliness, boredom, emptiness – concludes the director – I’m struck by the way girls behave, putting themselves on display and treating themselves as objects. The videos may seem trivial but they need to be studied from a sociological perspective: it’s easy to criticize, but the observation must be extended to the society that has shaped these girls”.