“I Had To Tell a Story About Five Guys Working Behind Computer Screens”: Hans Pool on Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World

Filmmaker Magazine | 3/22/2019 | Lauren Wissot
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by Lauren Wissot

Hans Pool’s Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World follows the diehard band of brothers (yes, there are no citizen journo sisters featured) behind the online investigative outfit Bellingcat, founded by a shy Brit determined to unmask some of the media’s most notorious blockbuster stories. Whether that be through geo-location mapping, voice analysis, drone imagery, or even fact-checking legacy organizations like the NY Times (one of several outlets to report a staged car bombing as real), the international collective takes tools once the province of law enforcement and other paid “professionals” to separate fact from fiction in a very 21st century way.

Filmmaker - Dutch - Director - Right - Doc

Filmmaker spoke with the Dutch director right after his doc’s US premiere at SXSW, and prior to the film’s CPH:DOX opening on March 22nd.

Filmmaker: So what made you want to do a documentary about Bellingcat? Was this project in the works before Brexit, Trump and the global rise of the far right?

Pool - Interview - Member - Bellingcat - Newspaper

Pool: It all started with an interview I read with a member of Bellingcat in a Dutch newspaper. He had researched the exact location of a brook that was in the background of an image of a rocket launcher and figured out that it was the one that had shot down the MH17 passenger plane over Ukraine. He was just an ordinary guy with a family and he did all of this from his “man cave.” It was fascinating to see the open source internet being utilized like this. I thought this is someone doing something really important.

So I got in contact with him, and he told me more about Bellingcat and how the founder is an English guy named Eliot Higgins. Eliot travels a lot and when he was in Amsterdam I met him. I asked him about doing a documentary about Bellingcat and he...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Filmmaker Magazine
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