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Surrounded by Waves

2010
Distributed by Icarus Films, 32 Court St., 21st Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201; 800-876-1710
Produced by ARTE France Mosaïque Films
Directed by Jean-Christophe Ribot
DVD, color, 52 min.
Jr. High - General Adult
Science, Computer Industry, Environmental Studies, Physics, Technology


Reviewed by Tom Ipri, Drexel University

Recommended with Reservations   
 
Date Entered: 4/24/2012

Surrounded by Waves provides a well-researched overview of the possible effects of the electromagnetic radiation fields produced by cell phones. What it doesn’t do is provide any conclusive evidence that cell phones are safe or that they are dangerous. Given the lack of conclusions, the film raises many unanswered questions. It feels more like a research paper that suggests more research is needed.

Surrounded by Waves excels at making the science behind the concerns understandable. Focusing mainly on European scientists, the film balances points of view on the potential dangers or lack thereof of using cell phones. The graphics aptly simplify complex concepts. Some of the video clips of people using cell phones becomes repetitive, but, overall, the presentation is well-produced and engaging. At 52 minutes, Surrounded by Waves efficiently covers a lot of concepts.

Many viewers may be dissatisfied with the dearth of conclusions but the point of the film is that the effects of electromagnetic radiation from cell phones is a new concern that should be investigated. Surrounded by Waves makes this point clear without being alarmist. However, given the emerging nature of the research, this two year old film may become dated quickly as new evidence comes to light.