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Fyre

Director:  Chris Smith
Year Released:  2019
Rating:  1.0

"Entrepreneur" Billy McFarland devises a plan to stage a music festival on an island (Pablo Escobar's to be precise) in the Bahamas, paying off top supermodels and social media "influencers" (god help us that that's a thing) to promote it, except everything that can go wrong does ... and he's good at scamming people (including his own investors) by doubling down on his lies. I remember reading about this 'story' along back in 2017 when it happened, and had a hearty chuckle when it turned out to be a disaster (a cheese sandwich!?) and it isn't any less funny now: almost all of these people are total dopes and the entire documentary is just one thing going wrong after another, except it's hard to feel sorry for anyone involved and I was glad to read that McFarland's going to prison. Smith's a respectable documentarian, but using archival footage of people behaving ignorantly and then getting theirs is low-hanging fruit, and a few comments at the conclusion about how social media is deceptive - depicting people 'leading the greatest lives' and 'being happy' (when the 'truth' tends to be less accurate; photos don't reveal inner scars) - shouldn't take anyone by surprise. I agree that it wouldn't be outrageous to see McFarland in a few years coming out with some new scheme to try to redeem himself ... and it ends up being a success. Or he could be a sociopath and have learned nothing. (I'm betting the latter.)

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