WATCH: New documentary charts the rise and fall of PR firm Bell Pottinger

Tim Bell in 'Influence.' (Screengrab: YouTube)
Tim Bell in 'Influence.' (Screengrab: YouTube)

The rise and fall of London-based public relations firm Bell Pottinger is the subject of a new documentary, Influence.

According to a press release, the "film serves as a terrifying reminder of the dangers that lurk within the post-truth era, in which masters of disinformation use new digital tools to wage ancient propaganda wars — undermining the very fabric of democratic societies."

The film is co-directed by Daily Maverick journalist Richard Poplak and Diana Neille and debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. 

"Audiences were taken aback by the frank depiction of influence -peddling that goes on behind the scenes during election campaigns around the world," said Richard. 

About the film, Diana said: "When we watched the first cut of the trailer, we were struck with how current the film feels.

"If anything, the pandemic crisis has made bad actors like Bell Pottinger appear even more dangerous — even the President of the United States is peddling miracle cures that have no solid basis in science. We certainly didn't anticipate that when we turned on the cameras more than two years ago."

The documentary will screen at the Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto next week and Doc Edge New Zealand in June.


Compiled by Leandra Engelbrecht

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