‘Face of Anonymous’ director explores the mysterious world of hacktivist Commander X

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TORONTO — Canadian filmmaker Gary Lang says he hopes his documentary about a member of the “hacktivist” group Anonymous reminds viewers of their own power to effect change.

The Toronto-based writer and director says that while his film “The Face of Anonymous” focuses on one member of the shadowy internet organization, it’s also a testament to a larger cultural shift led by Anonymous’ teachings.

He points to the George Floyd marches last summer as one way activists have harnessed strategies used by Anonymous to spread word quickly through social media and get feet on the ground at protests.

“The Face of Anonymous” takes a more granular look at the movement by zeroing in on Christopher Doyon, known online as Commander X, a mysterious internet personality who spent time in Toronto and Mexico while on the run from the U.S. government.

Lang’s film attempts to sift out fact from fiction in Doyon’s seemingly outlandish claims to Anonymous activities.

“The Face of Anonymous” makes its world premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, which runs from Thursday until May 9 online at hotdocs.ca.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

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