Benjamin, a young German computer whiz, is invited to join a subversive hacker group that wants to be noticed on the world’s stage. (imdb)
I was blown away by this movie – the plot is super tight and you’re sucked into the exploits of the characters. The ending fairly ripped the rug from beneath my feet. I had not expected that at all! It is one amazing German-speaking thriller and a sign that Europe knows how to produce movies that Hollywood itself would not feel ashamed to count as theirs.
The movie starts with our protagonist Benjamin in police custody. He demands to see the suspended Europol-Inspector Hanna Lindberg. She obliges him and sits down only to have him begin talking about his childhood. Every detail matters, he insists, when she interrupts him. Echoing his hacker name WhoAmI, he says that she must hear it all if she wishes to understand how he ended up in this situation.
So now we follow Benjamin, a young man with a fractured home life and deep-sated feeling of inadequacy, in his rise as a hacker. His social life is non-existent but what he excels at is computer hacking – anything and everything. It doesn’t take long before he falls in with a group of activists who want to achieve fame and glory.
They follow three rules:
- No system is safe
- Aim for the impossible
- Have fun in cyberspace and meatspace
Hacktivists now named CLAY (Clowns Laughing at You) and Benjamin take on everything – from Nazi groups to corporations – to show that no one can prevent them from hacking into their servers. Whether it is done by taking advantage of naive employees or technical know-how, the group becomes famous for their pranks and clown masks.
They form ties of friendship but the destructive behaviour of their leader Max puts strain on the labile Benjamin. When a girl he likes gets involved in their lives, the first cracks in the group start to show. The group is not satisfied with their fame in the media, they want acknowledgement from the most famous Darknet hacker MRX.
They do more dangerous stunts to impress the hacker who has his own plans for the group. CLAY doesn’t know what they got involved in and it doesn’t take long before Benjamin makes a mistake. Now they become one of the number one cyber-criminals, hiding both from the government and MRX. Will they manage to survive?