ACMI Presents

The Cleaners

MA15+ Strong Themes. Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian Scroll to content

“A neon-lit documentary shot like a noir thriller”

In an unmarked office building in Manila, just about as far away from Silicon Valley as you can get, a hidden industry has emerged.  They are online moderators and their job is to scour through all of our personal online content and decide whether to skip over it or delete it from view.  However, beyond this invasion of our not-so-private lives, these workers must also trawl through all of the most disturbing content hidden in the darkest corners of the internet.

Bravely and anonymously, these "cleaners" speak out about their jobs, the industry and the impact moderating this content has on their psychological well-being.  And at the other end of the line, the tech companies outsourcing the moderating of this content are called into question.  What are their commercial imperatives?  And who is moderating the moderators?

Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck’s documentary offers a complex and well-rounded view of censorship going well beyond knee-jerk reactions and in doing so paints a picture of the social media landscape with the darkest of hues.  

Melbourne premiere.  Join us for this exclusive season at ACMI.

This film contains images that some viewers might find confronting.