Owned & Operated is a mosaic of the world through the lens of the Internet. Showing our lives as consumers, under the thumbs of privileged individuals and their methods of control. But the world is awakening, and the experience is something outside the normal rules of social interaction, causing excitement in those who are not served by the current system… and fear in those who are pampered by it.
We live in the age of plastic. It’s cheap and practical, and it’s everywhere – even in our blood. But is it a danger to us? The plastic industry annually generates hundreds of billions of dollars. Every industrial sector in the world today is dependent on plastic. The amount of plastic we have produced since it was invented would be enough to cover the entire globe six times over. But this inexpensive and convenient substance comes with a hefty price. Plastic stays in the ground and water system for up to 500 years. It is found on every beach in the world. Numerous studies have proven that the chemicals it releases (such as Bisphenol A) migrate into the human body and may contribute to or cause grave health problems, from allergies to obesity to infertility, cancer and heart disease. For Austrian German director Werner Boote, plastic is personal. His grandfather was one of the early manufacturers of plastic and he introduced Boote at a young age to the magic substance that would change the world. Many years later, after reading about the global threat posed by plastic, he decides to embark on a quest to discover the truth about this pervasive substance.
The Internet’s Own Boy follows the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. From Swartz’s help in the development of the basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz’s groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two-year legal nightmare. It was a battle that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26. Aaron’s story touched a nerve with people far beyond the online communities in which he was a celebrity. This film is a personal story about what we lose when we are tone deaf about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties.