The Reflecting Pool



Awkwardly attempting to provide a delineation of the various conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11 in narrative form, Jarek Kupsc's film fails to deliver the impact of such obvious inspirations as “JFK” and “All the President's Men.” While undeniably provocative and thought-provoking, “The Reflecting Pool” is more interesting for its cinematic genre bending than its dramatic elements.

The director/screenwriter also depicts the story's central character, Alex Prokop, a Russian emigre journalist who is assigned to investigate the story by his editor (Lisa Black) in a last gasp of journalistic integrity before their left-leaning magazine is due to be consumed in a corporate takeover.

He partners in his investigation with a grieving father (Joseph Culp, who also co-produced) who lost his daughter in the World Trade Center attack and who is convinced that the government's role in the events have been covered up in the 9/11 Commission's report.

As the pair seek to get to the bottom of such elements of the story as the mysterious collapse of the 7 World Trade Center building and the failure to prevent the attack on the Pentagon, a dizzying array of conspiracy theories are communicated in awkwardly written and staged scenes that are ultimately more effective in providing tantalizing facts and suppositions than in being dramatically convincing.

The screenplay also founders in its attempt at providing a backstory for the journalist, who fled his native country in search of greater freedom only to encounter similar repression here in the form of a supposed government cover-up.

Ultimately, the weak performances and stilted direction combine to reduce the impact of the film's theses, which would probably have been more effectively conveyed in traditional documentary form.

Production company: BW Filmworks.