Movie Reviews

Published on March 27th, 2015 | by Neil Jordan

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Merchants Of Doubt

Greetings & Salutations Movie Fanatics!

It’s going to sound a bit unusual (me of all people asking) but I believe the nature of the movie i’m going to tell you about warrants a serious/closer look. Since I’ve had the good fortune of being recruited to write up movie reviews for ‘Skewed & Reviewed’ the few documentary films I’ve been tasked with screening have actually been informative and most interesting. Today, we have have one such documentary. I believe this particular one to be most important though. It regards subject matter like the dangers of cigarettes and global warming that by now the whole world should not only be familiar with but also breaks it down as why it took so long for these dangers to have seen the light of day.

The documentary ‘Merchants Of Doubt’, directed by award-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner and based on the 2010 book of the same name by Erik M. Conway and Naomi Oreskes, follows the journeys of several journalists, scientists, and politicians as they investigate and share their knowledge on such topics as global warming, the health hazards/dangers of cigarettes, and the dangerous chemicals in fire retardants, etc. Sounds like stuff we should already know about or should’ve known about years ago right? Well, we would have if it had not been for the spin-doctors, P.R. firms, and so-called ‘gun for hire’ experts who are paid by corporations and industries to cast doubt and twist the evidence brought forth by true experts in these fields.

This ‘true scientists’ in this movie (it’s pretty darned easy to sort them out) do a remarkable job of separating/breaking down the scientific data regarding each of the topics and explaining it in such a way that it’s easy for the viewer to understand what’s going on and how the ‘gun for hire experts’ who are brought in to refute them, take the hard data and twist it to benefit those in power and profit the most. One aspect of the film I found to be ‘quite disgusting’ though was in fact, when they interviewed these spin-doctors and like the silver-tongued devils they are immediately turned-on the charm for the cameras and tried to make their cases right then and there as if they were back on the clock working for the corporations and big-business. They totally ‘forget’ the fact that this is supposed to be a behind-the-scenes documentary. You have to give the filmmakers cred though for getting all sides of the story will maintaining the integrity of the film. This film is a wake-up call for us all. It’s a peak behind the curtain of the public relations
machine used to pull the wool over our eyes. It’s used everyday by the corporations and the politicians that take their payoffs and silver. The movie is just more proof the government and big business do NOT have our best interests in mind unless they can make a profit from it.

The movie made it into theaters in the UK last December and saw a limited release in the states March 6th. Not only do I recommend you seek out a theater and see it or order it online, but I would propose that this movie be required viewing material in high schools and college. Perhaps if the next generations view this film, they’ll learn how to see through the B.S. faster than we did and won’t have the wool pulled over their eyes as easily as those before them.
4 out of 5 stars. Watch the film … trust me. You may feel like you’re back in school or college, but this time around the information will REALLY be worth your time. Open your eyes and ears folks.

This is your friendly neighborhood freelance photographer ‘The CameraMan’ and on behalf of my fellows at ‘Skewed & Reviewed’ Id like to say thanks for reading, and we’ll see you at the movies.


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