Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Hidden Hand (2012) Film Review
The Hidden Hand
Reviewed by: Paul Griffiths
The X Files series and films stood on their hero’s mission statement that: ‘The truth is out there’. James Carman’s new documentary, full title The Hidden Hand - Alien Contact & the Government Cover-Up, at first plays like a DVD extra to Agent Mulder’s new film. Or a collection of his top UFO hits. However, this is by all accounts, a serious assembly of evidence that UFO’s do exist, aliens are visiting earth and this truth is being suppressed by the ‘authorities’.
Carman has gathered an extensive line up of interviewees. They range from former high ranking US military officials, doctors, surgeons, pilots, astronauts such as Dr Edgar Mitchell, UFO experts, authors and researchers. There is a fair amount of candid thought and insight from the talking heads. This ranges from the ‘look at the night sky, isn’t it obvious?’ point of view to the lucid reasoning of the more academically minded. Their segments are perhaps most intriguing when their edits string together the conspiracy that not only has the US administration lied about its UFO knowledge, it has been contracting it out to high-level businesses.
Various alien abductees then recount at least four different types of ET visiting earth (‘greys’ bad, ‘blondes’ good), being taken onto spaceships, subjected to experiments by aliens, forced to have sex with them and then later meet their alien hybrid offspring. Believe it or not, it’s at least clear that some of these people are talking about traumatic experiences of some kind that they are having to live and cope with. The people appear sincere and their encounters bring a measure of the personal and intimate to the otherwise cosmic conspiracy landscape.
Carman seesaws between these two broad categories of interview, splitting them into a film divided by a flow of chapters, titled such as Exopolitics, Human Military Abductions and Sexual Experimentation. This means that we never rest with one person for very long, whereas longer spells may have lent the interviews heft rather than always being promptly chopped for the edit. Still, Carman paces The Hidden Hand well and it covers a lot of ground while its two-hour running time doesn’t drag.
A narrator throws out questions and suggestions with each chapter, often over shaky footage of flying objects, that provoke and tantalise rather than posit any theory to be proven by the accounts of those onscreen. Instead it is left for the viewer to decide, although by giving his documentary such a cabalistic title, it is clear where Carman stands. The Hidden Hand can make an interesting, entertaining one side of the story, but it’s noted that no one’s account or statement or possible jumps in logic are scrutinised. Likewise, there’s is little room for naysayers here. This is perhaps refreshing for those who want to believe, as Mulder would say.
Given its subject matter, the film is suffused with feelings of injustice, victimisation and isolation, anger and distrust at an abuse of power, and of excitedly lifting a lid, being on a threshold, and of potential hope and learning for the future. These are expansive themes and on this level the film is an expression of how people deal with them, extra-terrestrials or no - but one’s still got to want to watch a doc about aliens to get there. That or a kicker extra for Ridley von Däniken Scott’s Prometheus.Reviewed on: 16 Oct 2012