NOTHING SO STRANGE (DVD)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 78 minutes
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This is the latest documentary to dive into the mystery of Bill Gates’ assassination back in December of 1999. Unlike the other documentaries, this one stays away from outlandish conspiracy theories and instead focuses on Citizens for Truth, a group that wants to find out who really killed the man. Was it Alek Hidell, as the police say, or was it the Running Man? Perhaps someone else? Citizens for Truth wants to know, and this film follows the various members on their quest.
David James and Debra Meagher are the co-presidents of the group, which does uncover some fairly startling evidence that shows the LAPD may have been a bit hasty in its condemnation of Hidell. Perhaps the most stunning thing revealed is an audio tape of the police interview with Julia Serrano, who is obviously coerced into changing her original account of her encounter with the Running Man. A later controversy with Serrano actually leads to Citizens for Truth being discredited in the public eye.
This is a fascinating film that really shows the trouble Citizens for Truth went through to try and find out the real person behind Gates’ assassination. You won’t find the answers here, but this will get you closer to the truth.
Okay, if this “documentary” were real, that’s how the review would read.
Instead, this is a mockumentary that is brilliantly subversive, and I hope I helped keep the spirit with that “review.”
Obviously, Bill Gates is still alive and well and hacking into people’s Windows-based computers from the Gates Mansion. (He’s also supposedly pretty “disappointed” that someone would make a movie about his assassination.) Director Brian Flemming plays the premise for real, though, and has succeeded in manipulating the real world in the process. How so?
On April 4, 2003 the South Korean stock market crashed after television stations reported that Gates had been assassinated. What has this got to do with “Nothing So Strange”? A hacker copied a page from the movie’s web site and made it look like a current CNN story, which was picked up by the Asian media. Bingo. Stock market crashes.
GMD Studios also created a replica of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office web site, which led to the real LA Cyber Crimes Unit calling one of the film’s producers to shut it down. Hit a little too close to home, did it?
Couple all this with guerilla filming at real police hearings and the use of a Bill Gates look alike (who once worked for Microsoft for an in-house video and has not been hired since this film), and you have a movie that manages to subvert the real world while at the same time providing some excellent entertainment. If the film hadn’t succeeded in pissing off the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and crashing a stock market, it would’ve got three-and-a-half stars based on story alone. The rest is just icing, but really, really delicious icing.
So, who killed Bill Gates? I really don’t know, but maybe we can get to the bottom of the mystery with a few more movies like this.



Posted on April 17, 2004 in Reviews by
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