Adoration tests web ‘cliche’

Who said the Web was worldwide?

Who said the Web was worldwide? Not director Atom Egoyan, whose new film Adoration explores just how confining cyberspace can be when a teenager confronts a culture clash that has damaged him and his family.

Adoration premiered yesterday at the Cannes film festival, and following a press screening, Egoyan challenged the notion that the world wide web has fostered a global community.

“That’s the cliche of the Internet, but the reality is that it exists in small interest groups,” Egoyan told reporters.

In Adoration, the key character is a Toronto teenager named Simon who confesses to a small web chat room containing only his friends that his Middle-Eastern father planted a bomb in the suitcase of his Canadian mother, who was pregnant with Simon at the time, as she boarded a plane to Israel.

The bomb was discovered, and no one was hurt. But Simon’s confession touches off a firestorm of controversy on the web and fuels a wide range of reactions — from sympathy to empathy and from love to hate.

But Egoyan does not see the response as coming from a singular collection of people all connected by the web, but rather as reactions by different groups of web users who have happened onto a small piece of information on the Internet.

“These are ultimately really closed communities that are responding to each other. It’s just drowned out by kind of a global noise,” Egoyan said.

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