Now Streaming: ‘Cablestreet’
By Pat Mullen
Get a rare glimpse into the world of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei in the new short doc Cablestreet. Directed by Meredith Lackey and produced through Field of Vision, Cablestreet takes audiences into the tightly guard Huawei world. Don’t mistake this insider’s glimpse for transparency, though, as the unseen narrator gets to look primarily at the machines and keep her gaze away from the humans on the factory floor.
The doc, which is shot through unconventional angles to evoke the fears of surveillance as well as the conflicts of power and control embroiled within the Huawei brand, features two speakers, one in English and one in Mandarin, in a power struggle to control the narrative. Fuelled by an intense score and cut with the rhythm of industrial machinery, Cablestreet follows the telecoms’ reach out into the ocean where a giant cable network connects its data to the mainland. As Canada finds itself in its own politically fraught situation with Huawei following the arrest of the company’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, in Vancouver for extradition to the USA on fraud charges, which sparked the detentions of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in China last December, the film is an unsettling look inside the machine. After watching the film, not to mention the ever-unfolding news, Huawei’s notoriety feels well-earned.