Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web

Posted Sunday 02 Jul 2017

Kim Dotcom Caught in the Web small

Director Annie Goldson's impressively detailed documentary clearly sets out the battle between Dotcom and the US government and entertainment industry, going to the heart of ownership, privacy and piracy in the digital age.

Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web
2017, 108 minutes
Festivals: SXSW, Hot Docs 2017

Kim Dotcom has become such a familiar part of New Zealand's media and cultural furniture that it is easy to forget the jaw-dropping astonishment of the dawn raid on 20 January 2012, when 76 officers swarmed upon the German internet mogul's mansion, bounding from helicopters, armed to the teeth.

In the definitive filmed account of the saga to date, Annie Goldson (Brother Number One) delivers a jolting reminder of the legal, political and personal upheavals ignited by the US government's attempt to extradite Dotcom and colleagues for copyright-related offences. It begins with the formative years: convicted hacker turns security consultant turns file-sharing entrepreneur. He attracts the attention of Hollywood bosses bent not just upon disabling a website awash with pirated content, but sending a resounding message to those who might seek to emulate his business.

A freshly compelling chronicle of the Dotcom years, Caught in the Web corrals a range of voices, among them journalists David Fisher and Glenn Greenwald, Motion Picture Association of America counsel Steve Fabrizio, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, musician Moby and Dotcom himself.

In documenting the drama - court tussles, scraps with John Key, the Internet Party, the 'Moment of Truth' - Goldson resists any temptation to extol or excoriate, while underscoring, beyond the political circus and braggadocio, just how pivotal this case is in the internet age. - Toby Manhire