It’s pretty difficult to write about Tickled without giving too much away but if you want good documentary story-telling about something you probably know nothing about, then you should definitely watch it.
The story starts with New Zealand journalist David Farrier innocently finding a Youtube video and Facebook page for ‘endurance tickling competitions’ that involve contestants travelling expenses paid to America for trials. He thought it would make a good ‘and finally…’ type story so got in touch with the organisers to ask for an interview. Their response threatening legal action if he pursued the story took him by surprise though and got him wondering whether something more worrying was going on.
The film has hints of Louis Theroux but ultimately the story is even more sinister than that and has a stronger narrative as the team uncover what’s really going on and who’s behind it. It’s not just an ‘aren’t people weird’ piece— the team break a real story.
It’s a fantastic documentary and very brave journalism put together in a situation when a group of people really don’t want the outside world to find out what’s going on. Highly recommended.