You may have heard we’re more divided than ever, the other side is dangerous, abuses its power, and must be stopped. Do you ever feel like you’re being manipulated somehow? Whether it’s CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, the mainstream media has a great deal of influence to shape the narrative of every news event. But that final shape should resemble the truth, right–the unbiased truth? That’s where Hans Pool’s documentary Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World comes in.
In 2014, Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) was shot down by the Ukrainian Military for some unknown reason. The rocket was clearly launched from inside Ukrainian borders, but what was their motivation? Something doesn’t smell right. Ukraine vehemently denies responsibility, but the world has already cast judgment. The United Nations’ creates a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) led by Sweden, but can a team of bureaucrats uncover the truth?
“The team uses video footage, any relevant photos available on Google Earth, Facebook posts, and anything else they can find on the web to solve the mystery.”
In comes a group of volunteer investigators known as Bellingcat. The organization, if you can call it that, utilizes what’s known as Online Open Source Investigation. The team uses video footage, any relevant photos available on Google Earth, Facebook posts, and anything else they can find on the web to solve the mystery. Yes, I spoiled it, but just the meticulous research of Bellingcat in the documentary will blow your mind.
The main goal of Bellingcat is to present the truth. The Main Stream Media plays hundreds of videos from the internet and builds entire stories around them—shaping the narrative. Yes, on the one hand, Bellingcat solves the whodunnits, and on the other, questions whether facts or photos we receive are true or false. An example is a video of a car bomb in Baghdad, which the media immediately ran within its newscasts. But Bellingcat uncovered what happened before and after the bombing, showing it was all staged with the help of footage of men and children running into position next to the blast site appearing to be injured. It begs the question, is everything you see on the news real?