Pulling The Thread

This series explores why are conspiracy theories so alluring, how do we get caught in their web, and how they undermine civil society.

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Funding Initiative
Digital Open Call
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Danny Alpert

Danny Alpert (Director, Producer) is an award-winning producer, director, and leader in using media for change. His documentaries Radical Grace, The Calling, @home, A Doula Story, and Legacy have aired on HBO, PBS and around the world, sparking significant impact and receiving numerous honors, Emmy and Academy Award nominations. Alpert has also Show more spearheaded innovative digital documentary series’ and engagement campaigns, including CPB's Veterans Coming Home. Show less

Other ITVS Films
The Calling
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Kristin Pichaske

Kristin Pichaske (Producer) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and producer at Kindling Group, where she creates documentaries and digital series designed for impact. Her diverse experience ranges from co-producing documentaries for Lucasfilm and Paramount pictures to being a Fulbright scholar to South Africa. Pichaske has an MA in Show more Documentary from Stanford and a Ph.D. in Film and Media Studies from the University of Cape Town and is a professor at Columbia College, where she teaches documentary production with an emphasis on emerging forms, new digital distribution models, and media ethics. Show less

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The Film

All of us — left, right, book-smart, and street-smart — believe things that fly in the face of facts. While experts across the country scramble to to help us separate truth from fiction in this new “post-truth” reality, Pulling The Thread goes to the source by exploring how we are wired to gravitate toward baseless but comfortable fictions that reinforce our values, our self-image and our social status, too often at the expense of the truth. By unraveling our own psychological, biological and social webs, Pulling The Thread helps make facts matter again.

Every 8-minute episode “pulls the thread” to unravel a few popular conspiracy theories and examine larger truths about why we believe them and what they reveal about the our society. The series profiles colorful and influential conspiracy theorists and professional “skeptics” like Michael Shermer, founder of the Skeptics Society and David Mikkelson, founder of Snopes.com. Together, their stories, as well of those of true believers in conspiracies across the nation, to blow up the stereotype of the crackpot conspiracy theorist and the myth that these ideas are the purview of one group or party.