Modern life can certainly be a challenge to navigate; particularly for those generations which did not grow up with the internet. With Delete History (Effacer l’historique), writer-director duo Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern attempt to capture the experience with recent technological advances from their point of view.

The film focuses on three middle-aged friends living in quiet suburbia, each of them dealing with their own daily struggles. Marie (Blanche Gardin), abandoned by her husband and teenage son, uses alcohol to forget her dire familial situation – which is how she ends up on a sex tape, to be promptly blackmailed for money she does not have. Bertrand (Denis Podalydès) is worried about his daughter who has become the victim of cyberbullying, sending him further into a spiral of incredible debt, and Christine (Corinne Masiero), who has lost her secure job due to her addiction to binge-watching, now depends on elusive five-star ratings for her Uber-style driving service to make a living. 

Bound together by their shared desperation, the three first contact a hacker named ‘God’, to then hunt down server farms in Ireland and the US with the aim to delete the incriminating material.

Packed to the brim with jokes ranging from ridiculous post office arrangements to bike delivery staff indentured to ‘alimazone’, the film can certainly be laugh-out-loud funny at times; but being far too focused on satire, the characters are never allowed to become more than caricatures. Drawn into complete ridicule, there is very little that remains relatable, and the superficial narrative which leads all three to ultimately renounce their digital dependency (at least for a while) fails to move. 

Delete History may appeal to the general public (above a certain age), but what essentially seems like an extended sketch of 100 minutes lacks the necessary heart for a greater impact.



CAST: Blanche Gardin, Denis Podalydès, Corinne Masiero

DIRECTORS: Benoît Delépine, Gustave Kervern

WRITERS: Benoît Delépine, Gustave Kervern

SYNOPSIS: In a provincial suburb, three neighbours are overtaken by new technologies and social media.