Crop Circles: Quest for Truth

Documentary films tend not to have cinematic releases but director William Gazecki’s new film Crop Circles: Quest for Truth is one of the rare exceptions. People have always been fascinated by the phenomenon of crop circles, some believe that they are formed by aliens; some believe that they are an elaborate hoax and some believe that they are some form of mystical formation caused by another entity.

Whatever camp you belong to is irrelevant as Crop Circles: Quest for Truth has some of the most fascination footage and facts about the phenomenon of crop circles.

As with most documentaries there is not a traditional plot as par say, so the film begins with the history of crop circles from around the early 80’s to present day and almost as importantly the people who study them.

The host of mathematicians, historians, enthusiasts, metaphysicists, scientists, oddballs and other researchers who are studying these strange happenings are interviewed. They each offer their own experiences and theories on the circles and while some are truly fascinating, some do come across as having seen one too many X-Files episodes.

The more pseudo-scientific interviewees do also come out with some of the more outlandish theories. They also tend to become too emotionally involved to maintain a scientific thought process at times. For example Lucy Pringle, an author on the subject, starts bubbling on about ‘how the wondrous magic and excitement was too much to bear’.

Other theories that some come forth with are occasionally a little off the chart at times, but with anything that is unexplained there are always some wilder theories floating around. Some do tend to take the non-scientific road and talk about how the circles affect them and what they mean. The artists go for the artistic interpretation; the philosophers take the higher intelligence stance and so on.

The key problem with the film is that it is too one-sided and spends it time proving that they could not have been hoaxes. People have come forward claiming that they have created the circles and it might have been interesting to hear their point of view. As pointed out in the documentary there are no half finished circles and if they are hoaxes, where are the practise ones? It would have been nice to see the people who have come forward claiming to having made the circles, answering these questions.

It’s a little heavy-handed with the theories at time, for example, the explanation of how the circles symmetry and mathematical forms was brilliant, but the theories on fourth dimensional shadows isn’t as interesting.

The true ‘stars’ of the film are the circles themselves. From the first one that is shown – a simple circle – to the amazingly complex ones later on, they are completely fascinating. This has to be the best record of crop circles on film and it shows. The aerial shots are unsurpassed and simply stunning. Some are so astounding that they have to be seen to be believed – each one is truly compelling. The geometric designs of the circles are fascinating and go much deeper than they first appear. The formations of each plant and the fact that they are bend exactly ninety degrees without breaking is amazing. It is truly gripping stuff and with a strong musical score it makes the imagery much more powerful.

William Gazecki is already a well established documentary and film maker whose previous film Waco: the Rules of Engagement was Oscar nominated. Here he gives us a film that raises interesting questions that cannot be simply dismissed. With a subject so endlessly fascinating, Gazecki manages to keep the interest levels high throughout.

It doesn’t matter what your preconceptions are before watching the film, if you believe in crop circles then the film fortifies your thinking, but if you believe that they are actually an elaborate hoax then the people interviewed do come across as sci-fi quasi-loonies looking for something to believe in. Either way Crop Circles: Quest for Truth is a truly fascinating film that unfortunately raises more questions than it answers – not necessarily a bad thing at all though – it’s sometimes better to think about the question rather than having the answers given to you on a plate.

Score 7/10