The reviled September 11th "truthers" are the folks you see in Manhattan's Union Square on weekends, insisting that the tragedy was not the work of Islamic extremists, but rather an "inside job" – a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels of government, big business, and the "global elite." Few thinking people credit their ravings, and rightfully so: they're ridiculous. Some go further and unload massive amounts of contempt on the conspiracy mongers, on the theory that what they do is an insult to the people who lost and risked their lives on September 11th and in its aftermath. Still others – such as one kind soul we see in New World Order, Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel's excellent new documentary about the subculture – plead with these people to do something more constructive with their lives.
Outwardly, New World Order is careful not to make these judgments. Like the best documentaries at this year's SXSW, it contains no filmmaker voiceover, and no obvious editorializing. But the insightful, expertly constructed film goes a long way toward revealing what motivates and drives these people – and in the process speaks volumes about their work. New World Order is not an agenda-driven hit piece (the filmmakers refused to comment on the merits of the various conspiracy theories in the post-screening Q&A), but it is devastating in a subtler way.