2019 Film Reviews - 20: Unacknowledged [dir. Michael Mazzola; 2017]

This is the stage in my ‘one-para review’ project where I inform you that not all the films I watch are my own choice. Some (like Looper from a weeks ago) are selections made by a close relative under the banner of a mini film club he and I have created (is a membership of two sufficient to call it a ‘club’?) with the rule that each of us shows a movie the other hasn’t seen. Which is all a long-winded way of saying that, left to my own devices, I’m certain I’d never have opted to watch Unacknowledged. But then that’s the point of the film club. Completely unaware of what to expect, I was presented with a mind-bending (reportedly crowd-funded) documentary which not only takes the existence of extra-terrestrial life as a given, but also asserts that governments around the world are planning mock alien invasions (using technology they’ve copied from ‘real’ ET landings) as a means of injecting more fear into all of us than they already do and exercising further control over our collective actions. Is any of it true? I have no idea. If nothing else, the film highlights how helpless we are as viewers in the face of ‘facts’ we have little means of challenging: an increasingly common problem in this age of self-proclaimed experts. Low production values and amateurish narration aside, Unacknowledged certainly possesses an eye-widening, X-Files-style magnetism, but what it adds to the sum of human knowledge is yet to be determined. Mind you, if any flying saucers ever appear on the horizon, you might want to stick it on Netflix quick.



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