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Forget Netflix: Inside the Forums Where People Share Obscure Pirated Movies

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Forget Netflix: Inside the Forums Where People Share Obscure Pirated Movies

Postby MrFredPFL » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:31 pm

Story :

Jonattan lives in Soacha, a municipality just southwest of Bogotá, Colombia. The thin, dark-skinned 31-year-old works as a second grade teacher at a nearby public school who, in his free time, is a gamer, musician, and philosopher. Above all, he’s a bootlegger—one who specializes in obtaining unobtainable films. He’s the person you talk to when you want to buy a film that otherwise isn’t available in Colombia, or that you can't find online.

If you message him on Facebook through his movie profile, named “Kine Homocinefilus Empedernidus Bergman,” Jonattan will find most any title you’re looking for. After procuring the movie, he leaves Soacha and sets dates with his clients in various locations throughout Colombia to deliver it to them. It’s a private operation that exists between him and the individual who requested the film. It's a lucrative side hustle.

Using cataloging software called Where Is It?, Jonattan organizes his list of roughly 30,000 titles by genre, country, year, and director so that he can easily locate them across hundreds of DVDs and multiple hard drives. Some are American blockbusters you'll only find a torrent for once you’ve closed out dozens of pop-up ads, but most of them are films that he, fellow cinephiles, and bootleggers have deemed “art cinema.” Sometimes they’re films whose copies are so scarce that only he and a small number of other people have access to them. Most of what Jonattan collects and actively searches for is of niche interest—films of which most people are completely unaware.

“There are two movements: the people who want to see the latest movies, the films that end up in the Berlin or Cannes film festivals. But only a [few] films actually make it to the festivals—like 100 out of the 10,000 productions that are made every year,” he explains. He, conversely, is into things like Czech cinema or films made 80 years ago that were recently remastered. “I’m not interested in the new stuff, although I have it. Right now we’ve got films that are premiering in 2019.”

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