Directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason, Fyre Fraud is a Hulu original documentary that tells the story of the Fyre Festival. The film is described as a, “true-crime comedy bolstered by a cast of whistleblowers, victims, and insiders going beyond the spectacle to uncover the power of FOMO and an ecosystem of enablers, driven by profit and a lack of accountability in the digital age.”
Developed by self-proclaimed entrepreneur Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule, the Fyre Festival was a music event that took place over a period of a weekend on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma. They used social media marketing, influencers, and celebrities to target a Millennial audience. The festival was billed as a bizarre mash of Woodstock and Coachella, but when guests arrived, they found a beach-less island with barely any music, bad food, and gross water. Despite early warnings signs, many people paid a ton of money for the event and were left stranded. The outcome saw lawsuits, government investigations, and a ton of unanswered questions.
While I, like most members of Generation Y, love to laugh at Millennials and social media faux-celebrities getting tricked into buying into a music festival, I found the documentary entertaining, but it definitely had some issues.
The documentary does a good job of showing the events leading up to Fyre. It builds up a lot of tension and shows all of the players, including Billy and Ja Rule, as they convinced people to join in. It has excellent production values and the interviews are incredibly eye-opening, especially with McFarland. It really shines a light on Millennial culture and how social media can influence this generation. It highlights the greed, selfishness, and desire for fame for what it is: Pride.
However, the documentary spends too much time on McFarland ‘s backstory. This is to show his past with several failed businesses and ventures that ultimately ended in disastrous. This is a good set-up to discuss Fyre, but it takes too long and you are left wondering when the story finally takes off. Also, the documentary barely sent any time of the two-day disaster itself. While the days leading up to and the aftermath are clearly documented, the Fyre event itself is barely touched on. It did show a few influencers whining about it and other celebrity’s laughing about it, but I wanted to know more about those two days.
One final note: they, of course, have to connect Donald Trump to the Fyre Festival. Why? Trump has nothing to do with the event (even with the bad joke from Kimmel inserted to tie it very loosely together). It stinks of political activism and really tainted a decent documentary.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong Language
Check out the trailer below:
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