- Truth or Consequences
- Hannah Jayanti
- April 2, 2021 through April 15, 2021
“One of the best documentaries that came out in 2020.”Peter Keough, Boston Globe
An ingenious sci-fi premise yields a profoundly human portrait of life on the margins in Hannah Jayanti’s innovative and unexpectedly moving almost-documentary. The desert town of Truth or Consequences, in New Mexico, U.S.A., sits in the shadow of the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, Spaceport America. Writer-director Jayanti’s self-described “speculative documentary” projects a future reality where Spaceport is already shuttling Earth’s wealthiest off to distant, colonized planets. That sparingly referenced backdrop—articulated in voice-over and uncanny 3D photogrammetry—frames an otherwise forthright, observational documentary about the hardscrabble lives of five real-life residents of the titular town (which, in 1950, renamed itself after the popular game show). Their stories, by turns odd and affecting, offer a sobering counterpoint to the tales of opulent space tourism being touted at the local Spaceport Visitor Center. But within the film’s “speculative” framework, the townsfolk are also subtly recast as the population that got left behind—the rung too poor to depart our dying planet. A slippery, soulful work, featuring an evocative guitar score by jazz luminary Bill Frisell.
Explore the film’s interactive virtual worlds here.
Watch a Q&A with writer-director Hannah Jayanti and VFX creative director Alexander Porter here.
“Haunted and haunting … [A] disquieting movie.”Glenn Kenny, New York Times
“Truth or Consequences is the product of a great documentarian letting her heart guide her through a maze of tantalizing intellectual congruences; lesser talents would lose themselves in the thickets.”Max Carpenter, MUBI Notebook