I’ve got to say that I’ve never had the privilege to see a mockumentary, or ‘real’ life film,that was in fact a fake, as normally being clued up on the world of film, means by the time I see it I know it’s not real, or the twist has been revealed.The Blair Witch Project is a classic example of this, and the only film that’s come close is Catfish, but that was the other way round, where I thought it was a mockumentary, but actually turned out to be a documentary about a real event, potentially, as there are still questions around it being real or not.
Another film is this category, of trying to pass itself of as real even though it’s fake, is Forgotten Silver, which when it came out did convince a lot of people overseas that what was happening on screen really did happen. I would have loved to see this film not knowing it was a fake, but that’s not to say I still didn’t love it, or appreciate the genius in the attempt to fool people.
Forgotten Silver was Peter Jackson’s 5th film, but technically it was a made for TV documentary, but in the scope of things, I think it can happily sit as his official 5th feature. Though it was also co-directed by Costa Botes, who went onto direct the behind the scene documentaries for the 3 Lord Of The Rings films, though I did come to hear there was a falling out between Peter and himself over those films as Costa lost a lot of control over them and what was to be in them.
The film itself played on so many levels, that even knowing it was fake, it made me want to believe that it was all real. The lengths it went to to question so many great moments of history was genius, especially as they put in just enough detail, be it fake interviews with historians, or known celebrities, to make people who might be sitting on the fence about it being real or not, to throw them off the scent.
Even right up to the end when the credits start to roll I couldn’t but help feel there’s no way this film could have been made any better for what it was trying to do, and I’d happily stand by the claim this is one of the best ever made mockumentaries, and it’s such a pity it’s not as well known outside of New Zealand.
9.5 out of 10 from me!!!