Coming to virtual cinemas and to VOD today, Tuesday, October 13:
TOTALLY UNDER CONTROL
Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan, and Suzanne Hillinger
Drive-in engagements (October 2020)
A thorough investigation of the failures of the US government to properly manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
Synthesizing the detection, spread, and failed response to COVID-19 over the past nine months in a surprisingly cogent and relatively concise manner, Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan, and Suzanne Hillinger’s film, released less then a month before the US presidential election, has an obvious urgency and mission: to rightfully hold the Trump administration to task. While unlikely to reach, much less convince, die-hard MAGA supporters, one hopes that it may have some impact on those who are either on the fence or potentially considering avoiding the polls. While the film is crystal clear in its criticism of the administration, it backs up its arguments with legitimate science and facts, delivered by actual pandemic experts and whistleblowers, creating a sharp contrast with the federal government’s pandemic response: denial and dismissal of science, management by political yes-men with no scientific expertise, passing the buck to either the Obama administration or to state governments, and sowing misinformation, including unfounded pseudo-science. While those who have been closely following the unfolding story of the pandemic may already know much of what is onscreen, the film’s careful organization of every misstep and deliberate obfuscation allows for focused concentration in contrast to the dizzying news cycle we’ve grown accustomed to over the past seven months. It’s an infuriating watch, and that’s the point.