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A journey back in time to the beginnings of the information society. What became reality at the end of the 20th century started out over 100 years previously. Edison's speaking machines, the telephone, radio, film – the early media brought soaring visions of Utopia, of communication transcending borders and boundaries and, through greater understanding, even promising to put an end to war. But with the dreams came fears, fear of abuse and loss of privacy. Fascinating parallels to our feelings about the modern world are revealed. Narrated by Tilda Swinton and illustrated with hitherto unseen archive material, the film tells the story of a fascinating chapter of technological history.