The Conspiracy: Written and directed by Christopher MacBride; starring Aaron Poole and James Gilbert; 84 minutes; to be released in the U.S.A. on August 8.
By Barrie Zwicker (Special to Truth and Shadows)
Is The Conspiracy a motion picture about a larger picture in slow motion – namely what’s usually called the New World Order?
Or is it meant to gently mock that idea?
Only writer/director Christopher MacBride knows for sure. But the ambiguity of a movie that is a mash-up of documentary and thriller/horror genres leaves room for MSM reviewers to be less hostile than they otherwise would be to the script, in which JFK’s assassination, the sinking of the Lusitania, the alleged Gulf of Tonkin incident, and 9/11 all are presented as “inside jobs,” and it is observed that these usually precede wars.
The cinematic combo led NOW magazine’s Radheyan Simonpillai to write:
“For at least 10 minutes, writer/director Christopher MacBride had me believing his conspiracy-theory thriller was a real documentary. That’s a bold technical accomplishment for the local filmmaker, who weaves together faux talking-head interviews and real news footage to convince us that the world is operated by a small, clandestine cult of rich white men. Actually, that part is probably true.”
Toronto Star reviewer Linda Barnard leads off by calling The Conspiracy “a Toronto-set faux doc about a conspiracy theorist who may not be as crazy as he seems.”
Yet the reviewers, as any Truther can easily imagine, cannot finally escape the brainwashing they brought with them to the cinema. Simonpillai concludes that “an over-reaching climax… is followed by a muddled postscript that’s both mysterious and frustrating, as conspiracy theories usually are.” Barnard concludes that “things take a decidedly too far-fetched route. But then, isn’t that the stuff of all conspiracy theories?”
Maybe during production MacBride changed his ideas about what he wanted to help the audience think, or think about – just as his “documentary co-producers” Aaron and Jim (Aaron Poole and James Gilbert), change their ideas in the course of the movie.
This reviewer bought his ticket already biased, if you want to call it that, in the other direction from Simonpillai and Barnard because of massive evidence: yes, there has long been and remains a global network of elites driven by cravings for power, wealth and status. A number of the present network’s members, including George Bush Sr., have publicly used the term New World Order. Documentary clips in The Conspiracy show several of these people.
It was gratifying to see the movie begin with a quotation by Disraeli: “The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.”
Secrecy has been a hallmark of these “personages” all along and still today, as the movie makes clear. The existence of secret societies practicing certain rituals is an historical fact going back 4,000 years, as the movie has it.
Until and unless they achieve total Orwellian control (an unnerving possibility) the elites, as the movie has it and as is the case, don’t want the hoi polloi to understand their agenda or, if possible, their existence. The global elites don’t want the hoi polloi to connect any dots, or understand their deceptions. In particular they want masked as much as possible their false flag operations such as the murder of JFK and 9/11 – the big ones that advance their agenda by leaps and bounds. The movie covers all those bases and more.
Off the top we meet “Terrance G” (Alan C. Peterson), a Truther, a sympathetic character who encounters complications. The Conspiracy goes easy on Truthers, including Terrance, somewhat of a recluse who takes a bullhorn to the streets of Toronto to declare to the unseen elites, “We’re not your slaves” and “We’re not cannon fodder for your wars.”
Although he declaims somewhat zealously, underneath his bullhorn persona is a rare spirit who befits his name – which means “tender, good and gracious.” In the case of Terrance, passionate, compassionate and ever seeking to understand. A psychologist is surprised that the reaction of most people on downtown streets is to agree with Terrance.
Aaron and Jim set out to make a movie out of trying to find out what makes Terrance tick. They start by interviewing him in his large old apartment. There he has assembled a wall of clippings and fact sheets. He uses strings to “connect the dots” for the initially skeptical co-producers. Certain difficult-to-answer questions from Terrance and some difficult-to-explain developments that should not be divulged here exert their effects on the movie-making pair.
The audience is drawn in through Terrance, through a growing list of historical facts and accompanying questions and through some of his online friends, including an essayist for Time magazine. Not to mention the appearance of new characters who take a disconcerting interest in Terrance, Jim and Aaron.
Almost abruptly the film switches gears about halfway through when Aaron and Jim, thanks to the essayist, gain surreptitious access to a secret society’s highly ritualized forest retreat. Barnard wrote that here the movie “stumbles into Eyes Wide Shut territory with a side of Rosemary’s Baby.”
As a bridge between almost two movies in one, is a relatively long clip from archival audio of the speech that JFK made on April 27th, 1961 to the American Newspaper Publishers Association in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The speech, 19 minutes and 12 seconds long, can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnEZ6FdE9mE
The movie’s clip begins at 9:40 when JFK declares: “…we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that thrives primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence…” The clip ends around 10:50.
JFK was ostensibly describing communism and his audience may not have entertained much doubt about that. But many since have interpreted the speech as a coded way of warning about a powerful enemy within, the same one that Disraeli addressed in the opening quote. So have others. “There’s a power so organized, so subtle, so watchful,” said U.S. president Woodrow Wilson, “so pervasive, so interlocked, that you’d better not speak above your breath when you mention it, in condemnation of it.”
Or it may be that Kennedy and his speechwriters engaged in unconscious projection. Whatever the case, it seems to me that MacBride’s take on JFK’s speech is that JFK was describing the same powerful forces that outgoing president Dwight Eisenhower had spoken of less than three months earlier. Ike warned in his farewell address of “the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power” in the growing military-industrial complex “that exists and will persist.”
(A 2:30 clip from that speech can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY)
These factual fundamentals are all but forgotten during the second movie within a movie, one that might be entitled The Bull’s Head. The ending is something else again. What will be the residue for a variety of people who go to see The Conspiracy is up for grabs, as is the residue from JFK’s 1961 speech, still up for grabs.
Your reviewer was one third of the audience in a 72-seat theatre in Toronto’s Carlton Cinema cineplex. This was on July 22nd, the fourth day of The Conspiracy’s run. The manager at Carlton said it was not decided when the run would end, but that audience size is the main factor in deciding when to pull the plug. That being the case it would, unfortunately, be best to high tail it to any local cinema showing it.