May 07


This was a very intriguing documentary during Hot Docs 2019 week.
Bellingcat, the name was adapted from a cartoon character, and the agency was founded in 2014 by Eliot Higgins. This is an international group that uses available info and tools such as geolocation data, 3D simulations, social media to conduct serious investigative work. Bellingcat – Truth in a Post-Truth World covers the personalities behind this group of people, their investigations, and their methods.
This group of people has investigated some of the most important and complex stories of recent years, including: the downing of MH17 civilian flight over the Ukraine; the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in London; and the identification of violent protestors at the 2016 Charlottesville riots in the United States. The Bellingcat team has built its reputation on delivering results; their research into MH17 was so thorough that it actually helped guide the official investigation.

Although the documentary presents the story in a way that non-technical people can easily follow, more technically viewers will undoubtedly pick up on some of the more complex details. The technology,  investigative work, and the big stories are all amazing, but what makes Bellingcat – Truth in a Post-Truth World interesting is its focus on the personalities and their individual stories.

Elliot Higgins had no particular experience in investigations when he started Bellingcat. This also applies to the other group members, who range from historians to engineers to activists. The fact that ordinary people from all walks of life can come together for finding the truth, have no monetary gain and possible threats/personal security risk, makes this documentary very intriguing and truly inspiring.