Pulling The Thread

Unraveling some of America’s most popular conspiracy theories reveals the emotional and social forces that lead rational people to irrational beliefs.

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World Channel Presentation
Premiere Date
April 1, 2020
51:54 minutes
Funding Initiative
Short-Form Open Call

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

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

Conspiracy theorists and skeptics alike engage in ideas that defy the facts. Indeed, in America’s new “post-truth” reality we seem more attracted than ever to baseless but comfortable fictions that reinforce our values, our self-image, and our social status. In a series of 8-minute episodes, Pulling the Thread unravels popular conspiracy theories - from UFOs to Sandy Hook hoaxers - examining larger truths about why we believe them and what they reveal about our society. The series includes the voices of 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, along with those of true believers across the nation, serve to dismantle the stereotype of the crackpot conspiracy theorist and the myth that these ideas are the purview of one group or party.