Nothing So Strange is an excellent movie on numerous levels. On one level, its a straightforward documentary of one group’s attempt to investigate the assassination of Bill Gates in MacArthur Park. The film pieces together newsreel footage, computer simulations, and police reports about the event to tell more of the story that you may have gotten from the traditional media.

At another level, it’s a story about how citizen groups with great intentions and good talent can go so badly wrong (as we see all the time) with internal squabbles, leadership problems, and motivational difficulties.

In our world, of course, none of this ever happened — Bill Gates was never killed — and so the movie is a rumination on political assasinations and police coverups. In fact, the film’s most frightening part, the story of Julia Serrano, actually happened in the Robert Kennedy investigation.

On the Web, the whole thing is played deadpan like the movie (which has such a strong aversion to breaking characters that even the credits pretend its a documentary and don’t give the actors’s names) with a dozen separate web sites about the shooting.

Even better, the filmmakers have truly embraced the Web allowing you to download the film with micropayments and remix the factual footage under a Creative Commons license.

The film is an innovative experiment in numerous ways and put together solidly and with polish. If any of these topics interest you, I recommend shelling out the couple of bucks it takes to watch it.

Watch now.

posted December 25, 2003 04:15 PM (TV) #


I’m Not President But I Play One On TV
ACS Radio Interview
Fixing Public Transportation
Saddam’s Simple Life
Software that Sucks
Nothing So Strange
Contest: What has Bush done for you?
Plea for Help
Is it moral to plead the Fifth?
Unspeakable Things
Apple’s Secret Strategy: TV for Everyone

Aaron Swartz (