Director Egoyan challenges web "cliche"

Thu May 22, 2008 12:33pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Bob Tourtellotte

CANNES, France (Reuters) - Who said the Web was worldwide? Not director Atom Egoyan, whose new film "Adoration" explores just how confining cyberspace can be when a teenager confronts a culture clash that has damaged him and his family.

"Adoration" premiered on Thursday at the Cannes film festival, and following a press screening, Egoyan challenged the notion that the World Wide Web has fostered a global community.

"That's the cliche of the Internet, but the reality is that it exists in small interest groups," Egoyan told reporters.

In "Adoration," the key character is a Toronto teenager named Simon who confesses to a small Web chat room containing only his friends that his Middle-Eastern father planted a bomb in the suitcase of his Canadian mother, who was pregnant with Simon at the time, as she boarded a plane to Israel.

The bomb was discovered, and no one was hurt. But Simon's confession touches off a firestorm of controversy on the Web and fuels a wide range of reactions -- from sympathy to empathy and from love to hate.

But Egoyan does not see the response as coming from a singular collection of people all connected by the Web, but rather as reactions by different groups of Web users who have happened onto a small piece of information on the Internet.

"These are ultimately really closed communities that are responding to each other. It's just drowned out by kind of a global noise," Egoyan said.

Moreover, the Web is just one part of a multi-layered story in "Adoration" that ultimately tells of one teenager coming to a new understanding of himself, as well as his family's dealing with the pain and loss of Simon's mother and father who come from vastly different worlds.   Continued...

<p>Director Atom Egoyan attends a news conference for the film "Adoration" at the 61st Cannes Film Festival May 22, 2008. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier</p>