Boston Underground Film Festival Movie Review: FRAUD

While revolving their life around consumerism and big spending, an unknown American family of four commits fraud due to the piles of credit card debt they’ve created. This is all depicted in director Dean Fleischer-Camp’s new conceptual, documentary titled, FRAUD, and shows how utterly nonchalant this family is towards their own actions.

Upon first seeing this, I found the quick, and rather sloppy filmmaking style to be off-putting and distracting. The entire documentary was filmed through a basic handheld camcorder, with very sporadic sequence shifts. As the film progressed, I got sucked into the events that were unfolding and paid no mind to it. After finishing this film and doing more research on it, I came to find that director Dean Fleischer-Camp created FRAUD through cutting down over 100 hours of real footage he found on YouTube surrounding this unknown family, which then answered all of my questions and complaints towards the film.

If there’s one thing I admire and find myself automatically drawn to within art, it is innovation. No matter how big or small, new approaches, ideas, and deep creativity are alluring elements. And that’s what I feel Dean Fleischer-Camp did here – he took a pre-existing event and edited together shots to create a palpable story with symbolic imagery towards the documentary’s purpose and its bigger picture. It is no secret that we live in a country run by consumerism – we’re engulfed in it every single day. A film project such as this one, to its core, is ambitious and direct, because it is real: it depicts true, and rather disturbing events, leaving the audience wondering who this family is, how they got away with this, and where they are now.

FRAUD is definitely a conceptual documentary worth checking out. The disregard this family has towards taking responsibility for their own actions (let alone the environment in which they are raising their children in) is incredibly concerning. People really will do what they can to acquire whatever material goods they desire, even if the outcome has the potential to harm themselves, their family, or complete strangers.

Abigail Braman
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Nightmarish Detour

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