Trailer for Compelling ‘Users’ Doc About Our Tech-Dominated World
by Alex Billington
March 26, 2023
“What will be the landscape of their childhood memories?” Icarus Films has unveiled an official trailer for Users, an acclaimed documentary film from Mexican-American filmmaker Natalia Almada. This premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival a few years ago, and is finally opening in art house cinemas in June this summer. The visual essay film explores how humanity expresses itself with technology and the intended and unintended consequences of our tech-dominated world. Users traverses places ranging from the largest indoor vertical farm in the world to the perfect artificial wave, from an IVF embryo lab to a fiber optic cable landing. Invisible infrastructure that we all rely on is made visible. Our casual reliance on machines and our alienation from each other is palatable. Urgent global issues like climate change and privacy are explored from the intimate perspective of a mother – thinking, worrying & loving her children. Reviews say that the film is “so beguiling in its imagery & visual symmetry, you can’t help but become immersed in her concept.”
Here’s the official trailers (+ poster) for Natalia Almada’s doc Users, direct from Icarus’ YouTube:
The documentary film Users begins with a mother’s question – will my children love the perfect machines more than they love me, their imperfect mother? She pushes the button and a smart crib lulls her crying baby to sleep, flawlessly every time. This question guides her inquiry into the intimate relationship we have with technology that is increasingly driving all aspects of our society. We explore the unintended and often dehumanizing consequences of our society’s embedded belief that technological progress will lead to the betterment of humanity. Is technological progress inevitable? Are we all increasingly isolated? Do anyone of us really have agency to direct its course? Is technology an expression of our humanity or is tech destroying our humanity? The compelling doc is a critical and intimate meditation on these questions.
Users is directed by Mexican-American photographer / writer / filmmaker Natalia Almada, director of the docs Al otro Lado, The General, and The Night Watchman previously, as well as the features Everything Else (Todo lo Demás) and The 8. Produced by Elizabeth Lodge Stepp, Josh Penn, and Natalia Almada. This initially premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, where it won a Directing Award. It also stopped by Hot Docs, Thessaloniki, True/False and many other festivals. Icarus Films will debut Almada’s Users doc in select US theaters on June 9th, 2023 this summer. For more info, visit the official site. Who’s interested?