Netflix’s break-out documentary last 2019, Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer, is an investigative thriller that purely hangs on the idea that the best types of mysteries are solved through collaboration.
When a video of a man abusing his cat surfaces, members of an animal-loving group on Facebook gathered together to identify the man behind this. The documentary follows the two group’s two members John Green and Deanna Thomson, who although remotely, uses the power of the internet to work on their case.
It is a manhunt on the cyberspace. When the suspect of their case suddenly provided clues, as if a John Doe villain in a noir movie, Green and Thomson use this an opportunity to look for things that may contribute to their mission. If they see a rug in the photo/ video, they will look for the exact design of the rug and pinpoint where it can be bought and who might have ordered it. If they see just the small details like hair color, a poster on the wall, vacuum model, the music in the background, they will find a way to piece things together.
With only three hour-long episodes, Don’t F**k with Cats is tightly composed. Every minute passing increases the risks for its subjects as if they are living on their ticking time bombs. In one moment, your hopes are filled, and while in another, the burden was returned. Good entertainment puts you in the action, but this documentary puts you in an extended roller coaster-like ride not knowing where it will lead you.
But Don’t F**k with Cats is more than its mystery. One can interpret the documentary as a study on our technological consumption, of how being validated by the medium strongly affects the way we see our physical world.
This is a very compelling documentary that truly deserved its viewership. Truly, a recommended viewing.