‘Tickled’ exposes the exploitative world of competitive endurance tickling

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Abby Kempf

David Farrier, one of New Zealand’s most notorious news-of-the-weird journalists, has ingeniously created a piece that not only highlights the importance of investigative journalism, but also the necessity of perseverance. ‘Tickled’ is truly a cinematic and story telling triumph.
The film documents Farrier and co-director Dylan Reeve’s desire to create a documentary about a U.S. “sport” called ‘competitive endurance tickling.’ With a light mood Farrier, Reeve and others point out the sheer oddity of the tickling fetish, eliciting several synchronized belly laughs from the audience. The hilarious beginning hooks the viewer and leaves her unsuspecting of a dark twist.
So when the pair discovers that the sport is sponsored by a bigoted, threatening company called Jane O’Brien Media, the story veers from humor to harassment.
[quote]’Tickled’ takes on a fully developed pallet of emotions and ideas, punctuated by incredible, yet subtle cinematography and the difficulty of investigative journalism.[/quote] Names such as Debbie J. Kuhn, Jane O’Brien and Terri Disotio swirl around all surrounding the sport. The names send hate mail to, blackmail and harass, to the point of breaking several laws, the participants of the strange sport, but the directing pair suspect a these women are all the same perpetrator.

Bombshell after bombshell expose the danger of the Internet and the ease with which people can pose as others on the Internet as Farrier and Reeve continue their quest, despite death threats, lawsuits, hate speech and verbal attacks. The duo knows that hundreds of lives have been damaged by this perpetrator and they won’t quit filming until they have named the assailant. 
Seemingly innocent, ‘Tickled’ takes on a fully developed pallet of emotions and ideas, punctuated by incredible yet subtle cinematography and the difficulty of investigative journalism. Any love of truth will love ‘Tickled’ and appreciate its plight of exposing injustice and uncovering a hateful Internet persona.
See ‘Tickled’ tomorrow at the Missouri Theatre at 3:30 pm.