The Gig Is Up

Director Shannon Walsh / 2021 / Canada,France

Subtitled A Very Human Tech Doc, this timely documentary exposes the true cost of the gig economy quietly powering our everyday lives.

Modern society has become increasingly ruled by a seeming utopia of convenience. A single tap on one of the many apps at our disposal, from Uber and Deliveroo to TaskRabbit and Amazon, and we can have anything we need or want delivered straight to our front doors. But who are the people keeping this digital capitalism running, how do they work and what are the consequences of these rapid-fire transactions on their lives?

Asking us to consider the ethics behind our consumer choices, documentary filmmaker Shannon Walsh (Illusions of Control, H2Oil) shines a light on this shadow economy of vulnerable workers and underpaid, often unregulated labour. Presenting testimonies from gig workers from across the world alongside investigations of the companies making trillions each year from their toil, she holds up a mirror to contemporary life – revealing, as one worker puts it, the way we’ve replaced the tyranny of a boss with the tyranny of an algorithm. Direct from this year’s Hot Docs, The Gig Is Up is unsettling but necessary viewing.

“Makes both an emotional and practical plea for viewers to take a closer look at the price of convenience offered to them through ride-sharing, food delivery and other on-demand digital platforms … Cohesive and convincing.” – NOW Magazine

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