An alienated teenager finds meaning in the conspiracy theorist movement. DEVON (14) has apocalyptic nightmares about the local 5G mast. He believes it is causing his mother KIRSTY’s debilitating, undiagnosed disease. His father PAUL bullies Devon for having weak character. Devon’s refuge; conspiracy theory Youtubers. In school science, Devon’s peers pressure him into almost starting a fire. Devon panics, and flees into the woods. He stumbles across a patch of rotting earth, and figures in hazmat suits, shovelling heaps of dead bees. Devon records a furious Youtube video - declaring what he witnessed, proof of 5G harm, connecting it to various extreme beliefs, mimicking his Youtube idols. The video gets 200 views. A comment invites him to a ‘truth-seeker’ protest. Devon attends and finds kinship.… here, he matters. Suddenly Kirsty is rushed to hospital. An emotional Devon tells Paul that it’s because of the mast. Paul calls Devon an embarrassment. Devon returns to the woods to prove what he saw… but discovers beekeepers, tending to healthy hives. At a new low, Devon enters science class, to find students cruelly laughing at his Youtube video on the projector. Devon is humiliated. He doubles down on his beliefs. He sets fire to the mast.
Timothy 4:3-4 - “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths”. This is a story of people seeking a new religion, and finding false prophets. Right now, internet personalities are stoking fear, spreading lies, and preaching belief in conspiracy theories… from covid hoaxers, to Q-Anon. This film examines the psychological and social conditions that cause people to seek an alternative reality… to “Turn away from truth and wander off into myths”. “The time is coming” is the pandemic; the upheaval and fear, people traumatised and vulnerable. Distrust of institutions means people no longer “endure the sound teachings” of science or mainstream media. People’s ‘itching ears’ desire alternative narratives about what’s happening, and their place in the world. The internet enables people to “accumulate teachers to suit their own passions”; confirmation bias spirals, beliefs are polarised. These ‘teachers’ tell stories that offer superior knowledge. They make believers feel important and united. They make people feel like they matter, when mainstream society makes them feel like they don’t.