Almost every one of us has had a phone or another expensive personal belonging stolen at some point in our lives. The sickening, blood-boiling rage is all-consuming, but whereas most of us just report it to the police and, if we’re in the position to do so, buy a new one, Dutch filmmaker Anthony van der Meer decided to get revenge.
Inspired by having his iPhone stolen from a cafe in Amsterdam, van der Meer installed software on an Android phone capable of remotely controlling the device whenever it was connected to the internet. He then allowed it to be stolen, discovered more about the thief and his bizarre, and often saddening, life in the most surprisingly intimate way, then made a film about it.
The result is a riveting 20-minute documentary that follows the man who stole his phone from the streets of Amsterdam through Berlin and France, reading the man’s messages and watching his conversations happen in real-time, and taking pictures and videos from wherever he went. At the end he comes face-to-face with the man himself, only it doesn’t turn out quite as van der Meer expected.
“After my phone got stolen, I quickly realized just how much of my personal information and data the thief had instantly obtained,” van der Meer writes in the video description. “However, to what extent is it possible to truly get to know someone by going through the content of their phone?”
Watch the full video above.
In other news, here’s how to cop a super-rare NES Classic in time for Christmas.