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|August 28-September 3, 2008
Conspiracy on the big screen
Local festival hosts controversial 9/11 film
by Dylan Otto Krider
Did the government deliberately ignore intelligence regarding 9/11? Could the symmetrical collapse of the World Trade Center towers have been the result of demolitions? Were the hijackers just patsies in an elaborate plan hatched by the New American Century to shore up support for a beleaguered president on the heels of a highly contested election?
Not in this journalist’s opinion. But Jarek Kupsc thinks so, and he wrote and directed The Reflecting Pool to make his point. Pool is one of nearly 80 independent films you can see at the Moondance International Film Festival, highlighting films that promote non-violent conflict resolution.
If you’re a mainstream journalist, it’s easy to dismiss Kupsc as a crazy leftie, as Nathan Lee did in a New York Times review, asserting “a complicit, propaganda-foisting media/industrial complex in the pocket of the Bush administration and the Jews and the oil industry!” However, as Kupsc points out, Bush is never mentioned by name in the movie, nor the Jews, or the oil companies. So I hope Lee earned a slot on the low-rated, high-profile Glenn Beck show, where he can spread his uninformed opinions unmolested.
Had Lee picked up a phone, he might have discovered a method to Kupsc’s madness. Kupsc grew up the son of a solidarity activist in communist Poland, where government lies and propaganda were the norm. He moved to America to pursue a career in film. Yet, it was not until the Iraq war that Kupsc began to see similarities between Soviet Poland and his new American homeland. He began to question the events of 9/11, and his questions led to some interesting (if misleading) conclusions.
In The Reflecting Pool, Kupsc plays a reporter, who with the help of a family member of one of the 9/11 victims, starts to track down various clues that suggest a government cover-up. Why the government would do this is never clear.
The opening scene is the most effective moment in the film, when the investigative reporter, played by Kupsc, is interviewed by the sort of news host you find on the Most Trusted Name in News, where such penetrating questions as, “Is Barrack Obama the Anti-Christ?” are the norm.
History is filled with examples of conspiracies: Hitler had Germans dress as Poles and attack the Gleiwitz radio station in Germany to justify invading Kupsc’s homeland. Then there’s the Lusitania, the Gulf of Tonkin, the burning of the Reichstag, and more recently, Seymour Hersh’s assertion that Cheney suggested having American Special Forces dress up as Iranians to attack a U.S. naval vessel so we could defend ourselves.
So there’s plenty of reason to be suspicious about 9/11, and if we have suffered anything these past eight years, it is because we have put too much faith in our government and media.
“For anybody born and raised behind the Iron Curtain, it wasn’t difficult to realize what you were getting from the television, newspapers and the media did not exist outside your house,” Kupsc says. “People developed other ways to find what was going on.”
But I couldn’t help but wonder: if Bush was behind 9/11, why wasn’t it bungled like everything else he touches? The chaos we saw on 9/11 was more akin to the keystone cops we witnessed in charge of Katrina than Orwellian puppet masters.
“People like to say they’re incompetent, but it’s not true at all. Bush is an idiot president, but you have to be naïve to think he’s calling the shots,” Kupsc says. “It’s a failure for the country, but is it a failure for Cheney personally? He’s getting richer every day.”
There are certain problems with Kupsc’s theory that have been hotly debated. To buy into it, you first have to believe that a fuel-laden Boeing could not bring down a building without explosives, and he also spends a fair amount of time dwelling on the oft-forgotten collapse of the nearby WTC building 7 (one explanation is given in Structure Magazine).
Kupsc’s admits, “I’m no structural engineer.” His skepticism is born from experiencing, firsthand, how far the official line can drift from reality, and the lengths power will go to mislead you.
As with global warming deniers, you can’t find any peer-reviewed research performed by scientists and engineers working in the field to back up their claims. A quick search into the background of the leading conspiracy “scholars” has uncovered dental engineers and doctors who also believe the moon landing was faked.
The difference between Kupsc and all the gasbags on TV is that Kupsc is earnest and actually believes what he’s saying. In my opinion, that makes him more qualified to have a cable news show than the ones bloviating about Muslim apostates and the Weather Underground in downtown Denver at the moment.
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