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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

We live in a time where trust of the government is at an all-time low. And why wouldn’t it be? With smart phones, the internet, and an infinite amount of information at our disposal, we see the lies of politicians plain as day. The folks who rank highest in our government may never had had our best interests in mind, but never before has it been so disturbingly evident. No longer can they strings from the darkness without a flashlight being pointed at them. Yet, if you’ve only had your distrust of the government extend towards the policies and laws that affect you, you’re only witnessing the tip of the iceberg.

Unacknowledged falls down a different rabbit hole — one that focuses on UFOs, extraterrestrials, and the lengths the government goes toto cover up their existence. The documentary consists of tons of original interviews with former high-level government employees, and leads us down a path that some may not realize ever existed. Of course, we’ve all heard of alien conspiracy theories on some level. Ask anyone about UFO coverups, and they’ll likely refer back to the Roswell incident in New Mexico back in 1947. Though while this may very well be the highest profile incident, it’s not even the beginning.

So how did the documentary handle the subject matter? On the whole, I’d say it did a solid job. I would by no means call myself an alien, UFO, or conspiracy theory expert, but I quite often find myself on the dark side of YouTube, engrossed in some obscure extraterrestrial encounter. As such, I was familiar with the broad strokes behind the documentary. However, if you’d ever wished you could delve deeper into some of these cases, and into the nationwide coverup as a whole, you can’t do much better than this one, as the film is spearheaded by Steven Greer, the founder of the Disclosure Project.

The film itself isn’t bad to look at either. It has wonderful production value, as well as fantastic interviews from those claiming to have held high positions in the government (I sadly didn’t have the time or wherewithal to check their sources). Between that, and the dulcet tones of Giancarlo Esposito — who narrates the documentary — I’d say this is about as credible as UFO documentaries get. My only complaint from a production standpoint is the aspect ratio. It’s a strange complaint, yes, but I often found myself distracted by the fact that most of their interviewees had the tops of their heads cut off. Whether or not it had to do with the screener I was provided or some tech issue that was beyond their control isn’t quite clear, but nonetheless, once you see it, it’s hard to un-see.

Unacknowledged was also a bit difficult to swallow because of its one-sided nature. Yes, it’s a documentary, and as such, it hasan agenda to push and a message to get out. However, when they have interview after interview of all these men discussing their experience in their respective fields, and their solid belief in alien contact in the U.S. government, it’s hard not to grow suspicious. Rather than become increasingly convinced by the message, I became increasingly skeptical. Mountains of questions filled my mind, and rather than taking a moment to acknowledge the inevitable growing skepticism their viewers would have, they trudged forth with their agenda. It’s hard to believe someone when they’re so clearly one-sided, so I would have appreciated the use of qualified skeptics in their interviews. This would have allowed them to raise questions that I, as a viewer, was formulating in my head.

The film was also quite long. Sure, perhaps it was only one hour and 40 minutes in length, but it’s a long time to spend on one subject matter. Perhaps it felt long because of its unwillingness to tell the other side of the story, but regardless, it felt like a bit of a marathon to get through, despite my interest in the subject matter.

Complaints aside, I think those who have an interest in government conspiracies and UFOs will find a lot to like here. It’s a well-made, well-researched, and most importantly, entertaining movie that comes with crisp, unseen footage, and great production values. Oftentimes, films covering the subject matter (outside of, say, The History Channel) are jampacked with lackluster CG and sound, and it often undercuts their message. If you’ve been waiting for a definitive UFO documentary, this may very well be it.

Grade: B

Unacknowledged is available now on VOD!

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  • Payote

    I think the documentary was one sided because this type of things is regularly critiqued and debunked. They had a mountain of quotes from many officials stating that aliens exist. They have a gov’t document stating this as fact. I am not sure how you can get more concrete evidence. This documentary is coming from the knowledge that aliens exist and we can no longer deny it. Denying the existence of aliens is holding us back evolutionary. The documentary brought up a lot of good points as to why the government would do this. And all the trillions of unaccounted for money that has been used in defense spending? It all seems rather suspicious. Even the time line of events surrounding Roswell and the Kennedy’s… I found this documentary to be very compelling and this is coming from a skeptic.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.