A journalist investigates the strange world of competitive endurance tickling.
New Zealand journalist David Farrier was looking for a subject for his latest investigation and chanced upon the world of competitive endurance tickling. This is a sport where guys are strapped down and tickled at length by multiple people, all recorded on camera.
And then things got weirder still…
Tickled is the kind of documentary where you should have the least amount of information possible going in, leaving all the surprises to be unfolded during its 92 minute running time.
And boy are these surprises stemming from so many different directions including the videos themselves, the personalities involved and the deeper and darker elements which creep in as the film progresses.
There are moments of humour and drama and even a few shocks but pervading the whole experience is this sense of unease, never more so than when the videos themselves are shown at length.
The way this ‘sport’ toys with power and authority and an underlying sexual exploitation can’t help but be disquieting, which all creates great fodder for the doc directed by Farrier and Dylan Reeve.
Tickled as a film is sometimes awkwardly presented, the structure starts out loose and takes a good while to figure out where it's going, but the subject is endlessly enthralling, impressively weird and - in the end - deeply disturbing.
Tickled is exclusively at the IFI Dublin from the 19th of August, 2016.