Documentary Film Review – ‘Crypto Rush’

In April 2017, Liliana Partenava invested around $2,000 in some friends’ Ether mining venture. Having no previous knowledge of cryptocurrency, she then wanted to learn more about blockchain technology and its applications.

Finding little online content explaining how blockchain and cryptocurrency work in simple terms, she decided to create her own documentary. The film follows her on a road-trip across three continents as she talks with over 30 players in the blockchain space.

Partenava also wanted to highlight the stories of female CEOs, investors, and industry professionals, to show that women are important in the field too.

Noble aims indeed… so why did ‘Crypto Rush’ end up leaving me so cold?

Not the most professional piece of filmmaking

The first thing that hits you are the sloppy production values. The disclaimer shown before the film even starts has a spelling mistake, and it isn’t the only one. At one point we see “$20 000 000” displayed on screen, as the voiceover says “twenty billion dollars.”

Eleven minutes in, somebody is speaking German with no subtitles. Later on, non-English speakers do get subtitles, but only if you turn them on for the English speakers too. Partenava is supposedly a former TV reporter and producer, but shows no evidence that she knows how to put together quality programming.

This could, and should, have been fixed before release, but there are more terminal issues afoot. The camera operator seems perpetually unsure where to focus, or even point the camera. A basic steadicam rig wouldn’t have gone amiss here.

The worst problem though is the audio. Interview quality ranges from just about bearable, to compressed to the point of sounding almost robotic. Again, investing in a decent microphone would have done wonders.

Furthermore, the single original music track is almost painful to listen to after a while, and you will be hearing it a lot. Apparently this is deliberate, to convey “the discomfort and uncertainty of the…

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