Review by Dan Skip Allen
With the news of voter fraud lately, interest in cyber crimes is on the rise. Anything that happens can be a motivating situation for people to get caught up in this world. Cybercriminals like to prey on the weak-minded, young men and women who feel lost. They are looking for people who want to embrace them. That's how young people get recruited into these groups of questionable morals and ethics; groups that don't like America and want to tear it apart from within.
American Thief is the story of three people basically who get wrapped up in cyber-terrorism one way or another. Toncruz and Diop are two young hackers. One with a heavy heart. Toncruz wants to avenge the death of his father. While Diop wants to alert the world of government interference in Americans' lives. A vlogger, Paul Hunter also gets involved with Diop without knowing it. They both are contacted by a terrorist cell trying to take down the 2016 election. This story takes place in the years before and after surrounding the election, 2015-2018.
Miguel Silveira wrote and directed this film that is oh too real considering the events it surrounds. The actors are kind of playing themselves in this semi-fictional story. This day and age anybody could be a cyber-criminal. Silveira paints a picture of these criminals that are embedded in everyday life. They live on every corner and they could live next door to any of us. He is very effective in getting the message of this across. This film is a rare look into this world.
Even though the actors are basically playing themselves, they still fit in the world the filmmakers create for the viewer. A world that seems real at times, but also feels like it's part of a documentary as acted out scenes. The feel is good though because anybody could feel as they could fit into this realistic place the film takes place in. The lighting and cinematography are well done as well. One could camouflage themselves perfectly without being noticed by anybody. This was very authentic in the film.
The film starts out slowly but picks up steam as the plot of the terrorists starts to unfold. The actors are serviceable in their particular roles, but they could have been better cast. The thing is it was supposed to be a small film. The story was the star of the film. More famous actors would have got the film more notoriety, which would have got the message of the film across better. Still, the suspense is effective in the film and it helps the story move at a brisk pace.
American Thief screened at the Urbanworld Film Festival which ran September 23-27.
One of the writers from disappointment media worked on a film playing as part of the Dances with Films Festival, but they were not involved with the writing of this review.