The young woman is visibly jumpy when asked by the journalist if she’s ever seen aliens. She can’t really say now, because there are some in the immediate vicinity…So begins Steven Brahms’ fabulous short documentary The Event which tells the story of the small French town of Bugarach, to where the eyes of the world turned last year.
Unwittingly this tiny town in the Pyrenees (population 189) became the centre of various theories wrapped up in the supposed apocalypse which some believed was going to hit on December 21, 2012. It was said that the alien rapture would take place around the mountain that overlooks Bugarach, leading to a media frenzy, the authorities readying police and even the army to deal with the anticipated influx and some several hundred believers descending on the town ready for extraterrestrial salvation.
Steven was there too, blurring the boundaries between the watchers and the watched by giving interviews to film crews and documenting what he saw. The resulting piece isn’t really about spaceships at all; it’s about how the bizarre intersection between alternate belief systems and a media machine that craves feeding 24/7 can combine to produce something out of (quite literally) nothing.
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