Deep Web

Deep Web ★★★½

I think for the uninitiated this film will be extremely confusing. With that in mind, the fact that this was directed by Alex Winter of Bill & Ted fame adds that extra bit of curiousness to a dark documentary where there are three sides to every story. Winter has also managed to rope in his old buddy Keanu Reeves to narrate this often fascinating tale of the birth of Bitcoin, the Silk Road, and the men apparently at it's centre. Many talking heads are interviewed here, players in the whole underground network that attempted, and still are attempting to orchestrate a sea-change in how we conduct certain transactions online. The libertarian ideas involving the use of cryptocurrencies however had a dark side that quickly spiralled out of control and brought law enforcement crashing down around them. This doc focuses on "Dread Pirate Roberts", and the man the authorities suspected of being the site's founder using that pseudonym, Ross William Ulbricht. It is a paranoia-heavy doc too, Winter's mind was made up on who was and wasn't guilty before he even started filming, and his passion for the project is plain to see, but it comes off with an anti-establishment bias and the overwhelming assumption that Ulbricht is a patsy paying the price of his libertarian beliefs. I'm also not sure just how much of this registered with me, I thought I knew a bit about the subject, but this opened my eyes up to the perceived corruption of the law makers and the grey area that surrounds what is and what isn't legal. Maybe this left me more confused than when I started, but it is still a fascinating watch.

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