Film Review: Watching The Detective

Chris Kennedy | 36 menit | Kanada | 2017 | PG

Taking story background after the bombing tragedy in Boston Marathon 2013, Watching The Detective (2017) not only offered new point of view on seeing the tragedy. The film was also giving a picture about the macro context in American social-politic matters, especially after the tragedy of 9/11. Watching The Detective was giving you an experimental approach, stuffing the audience all 30 minutes long with chunks of conversation from an online discussion forum, chosen to catch simple phenomenon yet in one side, showing a complexity of a context of those simplicities.

The naration that is being focused on the effort of the member of the conversation in searching for the bomber based on the released photos by the police, since the beginning had already showing society’s disability in receiving information. However, what happened behind the scene is more complex than just a spontan reaction and a group of individual on this tragedy. The absence of public trust towards authority so they choose to do “the search of truth” process, is a point from long chain that can be traced since 9/11. How the collapse of thw twin tower gave Bush’s Regime a legitimation to  declare a war towards global terrorism, and making them common enemy after the collapse of Soviet Union became a new stage of American nation life.

With the fear of global terrorism as common enemy (citating Chomsky in one of his interview, practical matters make Bush’s reign didn’t have any enemy. Started from validating Patriot Act that was giving legitimation for Bush’s regime to do wiretapping of its citizen, up to media that was not giving any room for another discourse  to develop as counter discourse that Bush has set up. Then, the alienation process by Bush’s regime towards whoever that was having different interpretation of those texts was happened afterwards., then raised new middle class citizen, white people concervative christian as main supporters of Bush’s regime. When Barrack Obama became successor of Bush in the White House, there was dissatisfication arose from this group because of the elected president didn’t come from their group. Of course, this statement can be debated furthermore, but the increasing of violence rate towards Muslims in Obama’s reign compared to Bush’s era was enough to provide ground for this argument.

In the next minutes, the audience is presented a more intense scenes by showing how American is splitted as an impact from Bush’s domestic and foreign policy post the 9/11 tragedy, and how each conflict’s victim was grass roots. Persecution efforts that had been done not only showed how some groups were still apply double standar, in one side they didn’t believe in authority, but also didn’t have other source of information beside from the police. The act play as police, at once was also judge was also showed how the fear toward global terrorism works as a tool of identity politics to do alienation process to a group and left both group as victims. In other side, there was a group that been a victim of race sentiment, so then they easily becoming the black goat of the occured problems. In another side that was drowning in delusion that thought they did something right because already take an action based on common interest, whilst what actually happened was they groups were being used by the elite as a mere political supporters

This film showed us how segregated American citizen was seeing from the matters that was occured, for example; the race sentiment. But what is actually need to be understand in this phenomenon didn’t occured naturally because its mere an effort to maintain power by the powerful party. With the snippet of conversations that are rich of the covered context, it managed  to show layered problems dimension in the behind the scene. The failure of democration system that makes a civilization is trapped in the same elite group, don’t care about who is winning the political reign. The elites that is alienating each other by sanctifying their own truth, reproducing imaginary fear to gather strength, refusing to get out of the positivistic framework because of the fear of losing power. So that it shutting down space for new discourse and leaving that civilization in stagnant state because of never ending conflict. This film makes the audience didn’t realize watching 30 or more minutes contains pictures of online coversation pieces, also make us realize that we are not only being an audience of this phenomenon, but also the subject of that phenomenon. A simple phenomenon, so close, yet so scary. Daily conversation in the Post-Truth era.

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