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Movie Review: 2006 Movie of the Year: Waiting For NESARA

Illustration of Jesus in a space ship fighting aliens and George W. Bush

Back in 2002, in the previous iteration of the Underground Film Journal, I picked a “Movie of the Year.” Now that the site is humming along nicely again, it’s a tradition I’m resurrecting. Well, it’ll become a “tradition” now that I’ve done it twice.

2006 seems to have been the year of the doc- and mock-umentary. At least, that’s what filmmakers sent me mostly for review over the past couple of months. And, believe me, I do feel a little like a heel picking out just one film for special recognition out of the ones I received. Because they’re all worthy in their own ways: The Proper Care & Feeding of an American Messiah, Gamers, Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea, August in the Empire State, For Love & Stacie and the re-release of Punking Out.

But, the one film that stood out a couple inches further from the crowd was — and, duh, you know what it is since you read the post header — Waiting for NESARA.

This is the second film by underground director Zeb Haradon and is completely different from, yet also strangely similar to his first feature, Elevator Movie, which probably would have been my 2004 Movie of the Year pick if the Underground Film Journal hadn’t been in limbo then. Elevator Movie is a B&W narrative film about two people stuck in an elevator for years. It’s a surreal, lo-tech fantastical film out of the realm of plausability. On the other other hand, NESARA is also a surreal, lo-tech, fantastical film out of the real of plausability — except that it’s a documentary and everything that happens in the film is real.

The NESARA referred to in the title is a bizarre cult that believes that George W. Bush is a space alien preventing the return of Jesus Christ in his spaceship to save us all. But not in a glorious Second Coming kind of way, Jesus is just going to get rid of the IRS and make sure all of us have a couple of extra bucks in our pocket.

There are several things that make Waiting for NESARA really work. First, it takes the entire film to slowly reveal all of the intricate details of the cult’s beliefs. We learn all about the cult straight from the cultists’ mouths. There’s no supra-narrator interpreting the tenets of this strange religion and making judgements on them for us. As we spend more and more time with NESARA’s believers, we dive deeper into their madness as they explain the most outlandish things in exceedingly calm, rational, pleadingly earnest voices.

It’s also refreshing that Haradon doesn’t force his own viewpoint on his subjects, setting them up for ridicule or praise. They tell their stories — most of the people in the cult are completely separated from their families for one reason or another — and it’s left up to us to decide. From my own perspective, I think these people are all nuts, but at the same time you want to hear what it is that makes them tick. I never understand how cults make dire predictions, and when they don’t pan out, the members stay in the cult anyway and wait for the next event that never happens.

I’m not a huge conspiracy theory nut. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by Robert Anton Wilson, for example. But I do enjoy hearing a good conspiracy and Waiting for NESARA has them in spades. It’s an infinitely fascinating film that’s stayed with me long after having seen it.

Hopefully Waiting for NESARA will suffer a better fate than my 2002 Movie of the Year. In Our Garden is still not available on DVD, which may be the crime of the millennium. Hopefully Zeb will at least self-release NESARA like he did with Elevator Movie. But this is a film that really deserves a wider audience.

More on this film: Amazon | Netflix | Official Site

Watch the Waiting for NESARA movie trailer:


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