Truth or Consequences – a Speculative Documentary

Truth or Consequences is a speculative documentary about time and how we weave the past into the present and our possible future. Set in the small desert town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, the film takes place in the shadow of the world’s first commercial Spaceport. Subtly set in a near future when space travel has begun, the film follows five residents in the town. Anchored in observational documentary footage, the film weaves together archive, virtual reality worlds, an improvised score by Bill Frisell, and a speculative premise based on the very real spaceport located just outside of town. These intertwine to create a lyrical meditation on progress, history, and how we navigate a sense of loss within ourselves and a changing world. While Anthropogenic Climate Crisis is barely referenced, the film is haunted by that existential threat, while also calling on the viewer to attend to the ways that those portrayed make meaning and value in their lives. 

The project comprises a feature film, a website, a collaborative local film festival, an interactive web experience and a bespoke virtual cinematography tool.

How to create an experimental non-fiction project that eschews story-driven narrative conventions? How to develop a project that is political in form, subject and labor practices? How might 360 filming support the placement of the project in an imagined near future?

In this talk hosted by i-Docs co-convenor Mandy Rose, collaborators Hannah Jayanti and Alexander Porter share their co-creative, iterative process in creating this speculative documentary project.