The Reflecting Pool - Reviews
The Reflecting Pool
"Propaganda is a concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of large numbers of people. The most effective propaganda is often completely truthful, but some propaganda presents facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis, in order to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. " (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda)
Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information. Journalists should:
--Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
--Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
--Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability...
--Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so...
--Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid...
--Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public's business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection." (www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp)
The Reflecting Pool--a narrative film that recently premiered in Los Angeles-- opens with a television interview of a journalist who has just written a book on Communist propaganda in the Soviet Union. The journalist, Alex Prokop, is asked by his editor to review a video about September 11th and write an article comparing the official narrative--as expressed in the 9/11 Commission Report--to the facts about the event. Guided in his task by Paul Cooper, the father of one of the victims who has become an ardent researcher on the topic, Prokop spends two weeks in New York and Washington D.C., interviewing people and discovering damning information never mentioned in the 9/11 Report. The FBI becomes involved, and Prokop is attacked by a lawsuit and the media in an effort to discredit his story.
This is a story about David and Goliath, David being the voice of truth and Goliath being the roaring bellow of empire in decline. There is much to this story--wars being fought, prisoners tortured, the Constitution shredded, the prostitution of the corporate press selling wars for imperial resource grabs--hinging on the media spin about the crime of the century. In its essence, however, the film is a story of two men seeking truth and overcoming fear. This independent film, made on a shoestring budget, a labor of love, brilliantly tackles the linchpin, that holds the carefully crafted illusions in place, and seeks to expose the man behind the curtain.
Although the plot is fictitious and the characters contrived, they painfully mirror real people, in the real world, who experienced the surreal events of September 11th. The Jersey widows who lost their husbands, and Bob McIlvaine who lost his son, showed amazing courage as they together forced the 9/11 Commission onto a reluctant White House. Marriages have been strained and broken by 9/11. Journalists and researchers have risked their lives, reputations, and careers to report damning statements and actions of the very powerful, who profited enormously in the wake of 9/11.
Prokop walks into the lion’s den and questions NORAD; questions those whose expertise is demolishing buildings and who also removed the massive steel evidence and had it shipped to China; questions the firm in charge of security for the World Trade Center (as well as the airports where the hijackers boarded the ill-fated flights); and questions the firefighters who witnessed the destruction and heard explosives. He meets with the researcher who created the best website on the destruction of World Trade Center Building #7, who let go of the story when his first child was born. The commissioners themselves avoid and refuse to meet with him.
It is the secrets, the silences, and the omissions that fuel distrust, that damn the Commission Report, as well as its internal contradictions. It is secrets, silences, omissions, and lies that strain the investigation, the trust, the relationship between Prokop and Cooper. There is much at stake for both men--will they succeed, hang separately or hang together? Will they confide in one another, bare their souls, risk their hard-earned efforts, gamble, and rely on one another? Can they trust a last-minute witness, last-minute documents? Will their truth prevail against the backlash that Prokop’s cover story is sure to trigger? They are not Daniel Ellsbergs; the magazine does not have the stature of the Washington Post, and it is being swallowed up by a major corporation. The deadline comes too soon.
The most moving part of the film, for me, was when Cooper, the bereaved father, says to Alex Prokop “I can’t do this alone.” I think that statement sums up what the film is about. The truth is much too big and heavy for one person to bear. Our only hope to face the reality of the current situation, and change it is by sharing the truth, the burden, the responsibility, and the challenge ahead, as widely as possible. Just as the filmmakers have drawn their strength and courage from others, their work will serve to illuminate, encourage and expand the search for truth, for a real investigation, for an end to false flag operations designed to terrorize the population and silence us into submission and support of endless wars against fabricated enemies.
The filmmakers are valiantly attending each theatrical screening in Los Angeles, answering questions, making the DVD available, hoping the growing truth movement will support their work, and use the tool they have created to reach audiences who would not watch a documentary.
In the bonus material on the DVD, Joseph Culp offers a running commentary, sourcing the information covered in the film. There is also a recent book by best-selling author Steve Alten called The Shell Game which uses the power of story to point people to source material relevant to 9/11--to get them thinking, questioning, and ultimately participating in an effort that requires the courage of many.
The Reflecting Pool and The Shell Game do not fall neatly into the categories of either propaganda or truthful journalism; they engage us in the drama of large events, the immense personal struggles people go through when they stick their necks out for truth and justice, to prevent major acts of violence against innocent people. They call on our spirit, demand that we pay attention, think for ourselves, not succumb to the mind-numbing lies propagated by an Orwellian press. They help us to see that there is something deeply amiss with the media in this country and encourage us to help change that.
Films like The Reflecting Pool can have a profound effect on society. My own life was changed by Oliver Stone’s film JFK, which I saw in 1992. It disturbed me and sent me to the library to find out for myself what happened and prompted me to become a media activist. The Reflecting Pool has the potential to stir a person’s curiosity in the same way to question the official story about 9/11. The government spends hundreds of millions of dollars to sell “the war on terrorism,” which is entirely based on the official lies about 9/11. The Reflecting Pool, which was produced on a shoestring budget like most of the 9/11 truth movement, can be a stone from David’s sling that helps to bring Goliath down.
Those of us who challenge the lies of empire believe in the power of truth, that knowledge is power. The more knowledgeable we are as citizens, the more powerful we will be to withstand and rein in the assaults of the tyrannical forces that seek to terrorize and control us. Our strength lies in an unwavering quest for truth, a faith in humanity’s inherent goodness, and a willingness to overcome our feelings of separateness and join together in a common cause— The Reflecting Pool is both an introduction and invitation to join in the continuing struggle for truth, peace and justice.
By Carol Brouillet
Here is the review from CREATIVE SCREENWRITING MAGAZINE:
Challenging the Unchallengeable
The Reflecting Pool
Jarek Kupsc (also directed)
The Reflecting Pool may just be the All the President's Men of our time. This gripping, chilling, fact-based thriller stars writer/director Jarek Kupsc (Slumberland) as Alex Prokop, a successful, hard-hitting Russian-American journalist. As a last gasp before corporate takeover, his editor (Lisa Black) hands Prokop a bombshell assignment -- investigate the official version of 9-11. Prokop, dismissive of 9-11 skeptics, reluctantly teams with grieving father Paul Cooper (the outstanding Joseph Culp) to investigate. After losing his daughter in the attacks, Cooper has transformed himself into a 9-11 expert -- at the expense of his marriage. As Prokop and Cooper kick at the hornets' nest, a sickening, carefully orchestrated pattern of deceit emerges -- and Prokop realizes publishing the story may mean curtains on his career. The well-researched (and exhaustively documented on the DVD) thriller ultimately proves more compelling than documentaries such as Loose Change by taking a narrative approach and by personalizing the story. Disbelieving investigative reporter Prokop is an effective audience surrogate, playing devil's advocate, while the passionate, self-destructive Cooper grounds the story with heart and soul -- a constant reminder of the human cost of the "war on terror." The script is top-notch, the characterizations moving. If the film has a flaw, it's in trying to document so much evidence in a narrative thriller. Yet by and large, it pulls it off to deliver a chilling and effective message -- maybe it can happen here.
– Jim Cirile
THIS PRESIDENT'S DAY WEEKEND! NOW PLAYING!
THE REFLECTING POOL
LAEMMLE'S MONICA 4-plex
1332 2nd Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
SCREENING TIMES: Weekend Morning Shows - Saturdays/Sundays at 11 AM & Monday President's Day 2-18-08 at 11 AM
Q&A WITH THE FILMMAKERS AFTER EVERY SHOW! DON'T MISS IT!
Trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32b-e-xwuB8
Film Website: reflectingpoolfilm.com/
The DVD is now available individually and in bulk quantities from the film website.