This article was translated by Google and R.E.
One of the most bizarre of a number of media-produced allegations of America's top political players is that Hillary Clinton's contact with the remains of an old Siberian "mummy princess" cost her the last presidential election. Maxim Pozdorovkin's documentary Our New President, which premiered during the Sundance festival, opens with footage from Russian news broadcasts of the then US first lady who landed at Novosibirsk airport in 1997, accompanied by grim, dramatic sound effects. A Moscow-based news channel explains that she was bewitched by a mummified royal person who usually deals with natural disasters, but who, according to shamans, decided to unleash the Monica Lewinsky scandal, campaign-devastating fainting attacks and cough bullets. It's a supremely surreal beginning for a movie that consists entirely of a collection of footage from Russian television and YouTube snippets surrounding the election of Donald Trump and sweeping with dozens of misinformation. As the film ends, our understanding of the extent of the "fake news" crisis has been strengthened – as is the understanding of how unrestricted truth-tapping impairs the traditional media's ability to maintain democracy.
The power of the media
Among the earlier documentaries of the Russian director Pozdorovkin are Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, which followed the lawsuits against today's most famous anti-Kremlin activists and drew parallels to Soviet-era spectacle cases against dissidents. That film opened with a statement from political playwright Bertolt Brecht: "Art is not a mirror that reflects society, but a hammer to shape it." When Pozdorovkin with Our New President turns the attention from resistance artists to state actors who imagine themselves, he gets an opening quote from the science-fiction author. . .
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