Q: Into the Storm

Luckily, Hoback is a smart enough filmmaker to pull back and try to see the whole picture while he digs into the identity of Q and how internet communities shaped international events. The headache dissipates. Hoback frames himself as a director who believes in free speech and not silencing Q followers, at least at first. To be fair, long before an actual insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Q felt mostly like a game in 2018 when Hoback started his documentary that had as one of its goals unmasking Q, which could have brought an end to all of it. Who could have guessed how much that wouldn't happen?

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“Q: Into the Storm” profiles the faces of the Q movement from YouTube personalities to the admins of the boards on which he posts his drops. If you’re unfamiliar, Q is someone or a group of someones who started posting clues that his followers tied to increasingly insane conspiracy theories in late 2017, most of them centered on the concept that there are cabals of powerful politicians and celebrities who regularly commit some of the vilest crimes imaginable, including cannibalism and pedophilia. The belief was that Q was a power player himself, someone with inside knowledge who could take down these awful villains of society, and that Trump himself would help make this happen. Some people even think Trump could be Q, or one of his BFFs like Roger Stone or Steve Bannon (my personal #1 suspect). “Q: Into the Storm” investigates all of these theories.

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Naturally, Hoback starts with a focus on the origins of Q, and carefully presents some of its major players in a light that’s intentional. For example, when he introduces Jerome Corsi, one of the most prominent defendants of Q’s alleged insider information, Hoback drops in that he was also a major proponent of Birtherism and doesn’t believe that Hitler died at the end of World War II. Not exactly the voice of reason. Hoback very carefully and smartly doesn’t mock the Q believers so much as give viewers all the information they need as to whether or not they should believe these people fully. He deftly points out how much they believe only that which fits their narrative. Every time Q gets something right, it’s a sign that he’s an insider. Every time he gets something wrong, there’s a reason for it. One realizes how much the Q thing is like a fake psychic, guessing at what might happen in a way that makes people believe.

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