The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community.
Country: SOUTH AFRICA, CANADA
Run Time: 106 minutes
Covering the worldwide impact of geopolitical spin-doctors—namely Britain’s Tim Bell—INFLUENCE is an alarmingly pertinent documentary about the current “post-truth” era. Bell’s rise and fall as a global influencer is traced from his start as an ad man, to serving as a prominent advisor to Margaret Thatcher, through the eventual collapse of his controversial multinational reputation management company, Bell Pottinger (BP), in 2017. Although a self-proclaimed conservative, Bell will play for any side with enough power and a nice paycheck. With his associates, Bell has glossed over the public impressions of countless violent dictators, corrupt corporations, and desperate politicians by weaponizing communications to change behaviors as well as minds. When it was revealed that BP had run a campaign to spark racial division in South Africa as a distraction from encroaching corporate interests, the global Bell Pottinger found itself in a PR nightmare from which it couldn’t recover. This fascinating piece of investigative journalism employs interviews with BP’s allies, rivals, and Lord Bell himself to expose the ominous tactics used to shape international narratives and democracies in our age of INFLUENCE. (In English and Spanish with subtitles) — D.O.
Tower City Cinemas
Friday, April 03, 2020 at 7:20 PM ET
Sunday, April 05, 2020 at 1:45 PM ET
Cedar Lee Theatre 2
Saturday, April 04, 2020 at 4:00 PM ET
Accessibility (?): No closed captions, audio description, English subtitles