By Hannah Scott-Talib
There is a lot that can be said about media nowadays and how we portray it. Live and breaking news stories are broadcasted all over the world everyday, some seeming incredibly surreal and terrifying, yet we never, or rarely ever, question them. Chances are, the majority of the time, the story is absolutely real and credible… but are they always that way? And how can we determine whether or not they are? This is the main subject focus in the eye-opening documentary Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World, where director Hans Pool skillfully dives into the art of journalism and how to trust the news we’re given.
Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World follows the story of each of the different brains behind the investigative journalism website Bellingcat, exploring the techniques they use while determining the reliability of a news source as well as the controversy these investigators are subjected to in the face of mainstream media. This documentary premiered November 15th, 2018, and has won many awards, notably the International Emmy Award for Best Documentary.
Can we believe everything we see? Hans Pool must have had this question at the front of his mind while he filmed and directed this documentary. Pool brings viewers inside the secret life of the Bellingcat moderators: going through news stories of the past and uncovering whether they were fake or factual. They go through dozens: stories as little as shop robberies and car bombs to stories as prevalent as the MH17 plane crash of 2014. Using common resources accessible to the public, these investigators are capable of doing extraordinary things, such as identifying a criminal found in a low-quality crowd photo or discovering the fraudulence of a news topic by comparing several different social media posts. Pool documents all their work, artfully constructing an award-winning documentary through the footage and interviews obtained.
Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World is playing at Centre Wakefield La Pêche (38 ch. de la Vallée de Wakefield) for Wakefield Doc Fest from February 21–22, 2020. Showtimes Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm. Visit wakefielddocfest.ca for passes.