Experimental Film about the Dark Side of Sharing on Social Media

Cracked Screen (dir. Trim Lamba, 2016)

Cracked Screen: A Snapchat Story is a fascinating short film, directed by Trim Lamba and starring Chantelle Levene, that documents the before and after moments of a young woman’s attack in London completely through Snaps. If I didn’t read the synopsis of the film it would definitely feel like watching anyone’s Snapchat story filled with rants, workout shots, partying with friends, and silly anecdotes. Knowing that something was about to happen that would change this woman’s life made each shoot infused with impending doom. When the attack finally happened the film took a nosedive into the dark, disturbing world that social media can become. This woman had been sharing most of her life online and felt the need to prove to the world that her attack was real by posting footage of her injury for the whole internet to screenshot and share. Her shift in confidence was the most heartbreaking part for me to witness. She went from dancing and laughing to defending herself and her story in the darkness of her room.

I feel this film definitely starts a conversation around how we use and participate in social media. Should we be so quick to share so much of ourselves and our lives with others? Do others deserve to know if we are lying or not while posting on our own social media accounts? Does our audience have the right to demand evidence authenticating our story? The film also brings into question the idea of attractiveness being the sole reason this woman felt worthy to have her own space on the Snapchat platform. Post-attack, the woman continually berates her own appearance as if to beat everyone else to the punchline. I find it interesting that her Snaps, no matter how much they are edited, are true reflections of how she feels about herself. I’m completely aware of how much people curate their lives to appear more impressive than they are in reality, but under all the curation are little bits of truth.

Cracked Screen: A Snapchat Story is currently available to watch on ShortoftheWeek. It is seven minutes that will make you think about your own relationship with social media. I encourage you to share your thoughts below. How do you feel about the medium used to tell the story? Did it make you feel more connected to the main character? Did social media help or hurt the woman’s recovery after her attack? Let’s start a dialogue because I’m sure there’s so much more to say and dissect about this topic.