F For Fake

Questions of truthfulness

Author Robert Anton Wilson, a great fan of the film, argued in Cosmic Trigger III: My Life After Death that the film was itself largely an intentional effort at fakery by Welles in support of the film's themes. Most directly, Wilson reports that in the BBC documentary Orson Welles: Stories of a Life in Film, Welles stated that "everything in that film was fake." Secondly, many of the interviews in the film were with people who were themselves directly involved with forgery in one way or another, often making statements that would have been known by the filmmakers to be false, but which were allowed to pass without comment in the film. Similarly, Welles himself made numerous false statements about Oja Kodar in the film. Finally, Wilson points out several scenes which, while presented in a way that implies they were filmed in real time, were upon further inspection clearly fabricated from unrelated pieces of footage in a way guaranteed to mislead the casual viewer.


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