Keeping it real

  • philosophy
  • social issues

Philosophical but funny and down-to-earth, Keeping it Real (2004) touches on complicated themes that modern man continues to struggle with. Why is it so difficult to find authentic experiences these days?

Director Sunny Bergman goes looking for originality in western society, a society that would appear to be dominated by packaged experiences, products of the experience economy. We see how Bergman and others search for authenticity, but do not always manage to find it. The concept of authenticity is hard to grasp, let alone the demand for it. Still the experience economy jumps at the chance to fulfill this demand with a vast offering of authentic adventures.

In Keeping It Real we see how the commercial use of the real in an unreal world puts a confusing inversion in motion. A world in which s swan cannot fly freely without advertising an airline and in which an African guy is pushed into singing authentic songs for his western girlfriend. Because a 'real' adventurer wades through the wild river to cross it, he cannot make use of the nearby bridge. Because Theo’s homeless tour is only interesting if Theo remains living on the street, he is forced to live a lie when he finally succeeds in getting a room. Authenticity becomes a cliche, and ultimately this cliche supercedes reality.

A Viewpoint Production co-produced by the IKON Television. Part of the (who is s/he) project, produced in collaboration with Mama Cash.

Written and directed by Sunny Bergman.