Hoaxed: A Conservative Film that Satisfies


Conservative filmmakers have often struggled making a film that ‘crosses the aisle’ and delivers a solid experience for anyone other than its core audience. Take, for example, the 2018 documentary Death of a Nation, directed by popular commentator Dinesh D’Souza. That film was a messy, unfocused, and stylistically sloppy film that, while entertaining, failed to even provide a compelling answer to the question he proposed: how does a nation die? However, this year, our prayers have finally been answered; producer Mike Cernovich has made a great conservative documentary that anyone can watch and enjoy. 

Hoaxed tells the tale of fake news throughout American history and the consequences of the lies and manipulations our media perpetuate. This story becomes increasingly more important, as we see fake news on a daily basis. Just take the recent example of Jussie Smollet. Despite lack of evidence or solid facts, mainstream media and politicians took the story of a gay minority assaulted by Trump supporters and used it as an example of “Trump inspiring hate” or something of the like. While Hoaxed spends a great deal of its runtime discussing contemporary fake news, it turns back the clock to examine fake news throughout the 20th century and even contemplates where we might go from here.

Directors Scooter Downey and Jon Du Toit have assembled a broad range of internet personalities and ‘victims’ of fake news. Jordan B. Peterson, Alex Jones, and Lauren Southern make up just a few of the incredible cast, and the film is worth watching for the interviews with these figures alone. While all these individuals could be considered ‘right wing,’ the stories presented encompass the whole political spectrum, with a particularly powerful sequence involving a Black Lives Matter protester. The filmmakers go to great lengths to show how fake news is not a phenomenon that impacts only a small percentage of society, but rather how it is something that impacts everyone. Even though the producer’s viewpoint bares its head occasionally, the entire production feels significantly more balanced and nuanced that many of its more liberal contemporaries.

Hoaxed’s high quality narrative and interviewees are complemented by the great camera work and sound design. Nothing on display is particularly groundbreaking, as it makes use of archival footage and simple shots of the cast, but what’s here is done very well compared to other ‘conservative documentaries.’ I especially loved the original footage of CRT’s in stark industrial rooms with various news outlets emblazoned on the screens. The soundtrack, while also unremarkable, sets the scene perfectly and accentuates some of the more emotional sequences. 

Hoaxed is a must-see documentary that only becomes more relevant by the day. With an excellent cast of recognizable personalities, high production values, and a compelling narrative, anyone can get something out of a screening. Hoaxed is a film that leaves you with a lot to think about and will stick with you for a long time. The final sequence where internet personality Stefan Molyneux recounts Plato’s allegory of the cave, while perhaps a little on the nose, takes on a whole new meaning when thought about in the context of fake news. Hoaxed is the light, knowledge of the uncomfortable truths of our corrupt media and society, but once we see it, we can never return to the cave from which we came.