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The Truth Seekers

average rating is 4 out of 5


Patrick Foley


Posted on:

Jun 23, 2024

Film Reviews
The Truth Seekers
Directed by:
Nick Fuller
Written by:
Nick Fuller
Robin Kristoffy, Gehane Strehler, Daniel Tatarsky

Nick Fuller probably couldn’t believe his luck that the release of short film The Truth Seekers coincided with the recently announced general election. Elections always drag up crackpots, conspiracy theorists and fantasists (and that’s just the Conservative Party), and the media’s engagement with such hostile actors is a growing subject of debate. Fuller’s film presents the debate between new and old media in the form of hostile TV interview – with an intriguing if cynical critique of the true relationship between them.


Current affairs show ‘Here & Now with Stephen Yardley’ needs a controversial guest to spike ratings. Step forward conspiracy peddling Marissa Rawlings (Gehane Strehler), a well-spoken fringe figure who urges rejection of ‘mainstream narratives’. Yardley (Daniel Tatarsky), with the help of his producer Hannah (Robin Kristoffy) take Rawlings to task and defend their medium. But each party has a hidden agenda at play.


The Truth Seekers is something of a cynical movie for a cynical time. Instinctively, its premise of ‘both-siding’ mainstream media and crank conspiracy channels may build a few walls among its viewers. But the unravelling of the layers as the film progresses shows that Nick Fuller’s assessments of how the media landscape operates is considered and engaging. The role of producer Hannah in directing how she wishes the interview to go shows that there is often a hidden agenda behind most content presenting itself as balanced – certainly true of any rolling TV interview or big BBC piece that are always looking for angles that will make headlines. The film’s conclusion also reframes the story in such a way that viewers will want a second viewing (always a sign of a good twist), and feels especially relevant in a world where politicians who get the most screentime are usually the ones complaining about being ‘silenced’.


Gehane Strehler is impressive as Rawlings – a TV-friendly conspiracy theorist the likes of which have infiltrated mainstream politics and social media in recent years to worrying effect. Without tying the character too tightly to any particular cause or belief, there are moments where she feels a little like a caricature. But Strehler’s steadfast, chilling self-belief means parallels are there from all kinds of modern commentariats. Tatarsky plays Yardley very much as a ‘company man’, a stuck-in-the-mud, BBC-lifer type who plays safe and to the script. Seeming out of his depth with Rawlings, he symbolises legacy media’s inability to handle the shapeshifting form of its new adversary.


Whilst probably more of a cynical outlook on the media landscape than may be true in real-life, The Truth Seekers nails the reasoning of why public trust in the media is at an all-time low. The symbiotic relationship between fringe movements and established broadcasters in the race for more and more ratings is a more and more dangerous element of democracies all over the world. The Truth Seekers isn’t breaking entirely new ground, but a quick and slick short film exploring this, that cleverly keeps its cards close to its chest until the finale works well in this election year. If the film could be broadcast before the next time Nigel Farage is on Question Time, that would be great…

About the Film Critic
Patrick Foley
Patrick Foley
Digital / DVD Release, Short Film
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