Eef Hilgers – SHAME/FAME

Whoever thinks that the pillory was something of the Middle Ages, probably hasn’t seen sites such as Dumpert where naming and shaming attracts thousands of visitors each day. Thanks to the smartphone and the digital era, you can gape at other people’s sexual escapades, their fights and their swearing. And all under the motto of being the guardians of morals. But are we really? Or are we just looking for that minute of fame?

Whoever ‘misbehaves’ is ruthlessly put in the digital pillory and smeared by anonymous, unrestrained commentators. Uploaders of other people’s most embarrassing actions just to be the centre of attention. They count the hits and the likes and consider themselves world-famous on Dumpert. Why do we watch other people’s slip-ups? Are you allowed to film other people just like that? What are the consequences? What if they’re drunk, tipsy or high on pills? And how righteous are these moral crusaders themselves? With the aid of YouTube and Facebook hypes, director Eef Hilgers talks to peeping Toms, angry posters and their victims. What used to remain invisible is relentlessly mapped by the age of the internet: how people observe, comment on and criticize other people in the public space. And Hilgers comes clean herself as well. After all, didn’t she keep an eye on the neighbourhood through the toilet window as a ten-year-old? And isn’t she doing exactly the same as Dumpert with this film, seeking attention by portraying other people on screen? A visual documentary about sensationalism and moral crusaders, hypes and their side effects.

Eef Hilgers (1988) graduated from St Joost’s Arts Academy in Breda in 2012 and won that year the TENT Academy Awards as best video maker of graduates Dutch art academies 2012. She has previously made other films including A Girl, You know it yourself, My Dearest F#cking phone. 

Here’s the documentary: SHAME/FAME