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film

CROWD SOURCE

Still from Chris Kennedy’s Watching the Detectives, 2017, 16 mm, color, silent, 36 minutes.

THE MENTION OF REDDIT most likely conjures the thought of “Ask Me Anything” interviews, or perhaps the alt-right sewers of /r/The_Donald or /r/TheRedPill. In Chris Kennedy’s silent 16-mm film Watching the Detectives (2017), the website figures as something else: a place to witness the ways in which truth claims are made and unmade across distance, in real time, often with little grounding in fact.

Kennedy begins with a tweet—“Ain’t no love in the heart of the city, stay safe people”—before cutting to footage of the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and injured some 260 others on April 15, 2013. That tweet, from the account @J_tsar, was written by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Kyrgyzstani American who carried out the attack with his brother, Tamerlan, citing Islamist beliefs. The remainder of the film’s thirty-six minutes consists of reformatted excerpts of Reddit and

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