DocTalk:Full Signal

There is the saying that parents tell their children, “Television will fry your brain.” However, since 1997 there is a whole new phenomenon that can turn your brain into neurological porridge. The cellphone, a direct radiation transmitter pressed against your skull, is the buzzing, beeping, ringing voice of 21st century technology. This beloved staple of modern life has unprecedented side effects that may not appear until many years later.

The 2010 documentary “Full Signal” directed by Talal Jabari, investigates the ugly truth about cellphones and cellphone towers that the 3.5 billion mobile phone users in the world would rather put on silent.

But the uncouth reality that Jabari wants viewers and cellphone users alike is to understand the severity of this local epidemic on the global, even celestial, scale. The film follows several people who have experienced the onset of “electromagnetic hypersensitivity.” Symptoms include, dizziness, pain throughout the body, red facial glowing, rashes, weakness or increased heart rate. Many subjects of the film had experienced such symptoms. One mother expressed her concern about cellphone towers surrounding her backyard where her three children play. An elderly couple is in an impending lawsuit about the more than a dozen cellphone towers that shamelessly encircle their apartment building. The wife had complained of severe headaches and when a professional investigated the wiring in their building, they realized the cellphone towers were literally sending harmful signals that were disrupting their quality of life. Now, they have to use special electromagnetic netting around their beds to ward off the evil radiation spirits. One of the more heart-wrenching interview was of a  Swedish woman who has intense electromagnetic hypersensitivity which quarantines her inside her home every day. She cannot go outside from the surplus radiation sources, stranger’s constant cellphone usage is painful, even public transportation has become a health hazard.

The film emphasizes on the constant harmful exposure people, especially children, have to cellphone towers and electromagnetic radiation. In fact, the narrator of the film claimed that the most common cancer in children under eighteen years old is brain cancer. Suspicious with the increased quantity of cellphone towers since the uproar of cellular devices since 1997. Whether directly through the head while talking on a cellphone or by the strategically positioned transmission towers, all peoples are at risk in the most casual and local environments. What is even more frightening is that not even at home can a person be free of mobile carcinogens.

Cellphone usage is too far imbedded in daily life, daily seconds, that it would be impossible to have a worldwide blackout.

While the camerawork of the documentary heavily used low-angle shots to emphasize the height of cellphone towers, there were alarming details about towers that people may not realize. The film showed the manipulative genius of cellphone companies who have hidden cellphone towers in obscure locations, after there were too many complaints about their unaesthetic nature. Cellphone towers in elevated church structures because churchgoers complained of “no service” they are hidden in public buildings, above schools, even disguised as flimsy trees. Trees with fake, pathetic Christmas branches, which is laughable and disturbing.

This cellular poison has the power to destroy brain nerves endings after too much exposure. Shots of people freely talking on their cellphones through the streets in cities gated by transmission towers has neurologists concerned about the general health of people. Human beings everyday, every hour, every moment, are vulnerable to the build up of radiation exposure. It is everywhere. The electromagnetic pollution acts almost like an additional layer of our atmosphere. The solution is not to mimic Tolstoy and live “off the grid” to avoid cellular signals to protect your brain. In the film, one science writer recommended that people “expand their intelligence” about safe cellphone use. She encouraged to uncover new ways to redesign how cellphone signals can be integrated safely into society without destroying the environment and jeopardizing public health.

“Full Signal” is a film every cell phone user needs to watch. There are repercussions from cellular excess that has ominous consequences that radiates through every room of one’s own. Despite the outdated camera quality of 2010, Jabari’s message is dramatically present today. Technology will only increase, the amount of people (double meaning the amount of cell phone users) will continue to rise, cities are expanding and it is estimated that sixty percent of peoples are migrating to cities now. The epidemic will rise as cell phone towers will be demanded to accommodate the amount of people and growth of cities. All the sci-fi movies about robots taking over the world and computer rigged apocalypse heed the warning. Be conscience of technology use! Technology can turn ugly, it can even turn into cancer. People have to realize the dangers that over indulging in technology can cause and the risk they taken every time they press a cellphone against their ear.

Written by

Allison Surgeary