Clicky

November 30, 2022

Film review: ‘Alex’s War’ looks at the career of InfoWars host

Movie release coincides with trial to assess damages against Jones

-

A new documentary about Austin conspiracy theorist and InfoWars leader Alex Jones will hit theaters and begin streaming on July 29, as a jury in Austin is hearing arguments about how much money Jones will have to pay the parents of a Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim for defamation and intentionally inflicting emotional distress.

The new documentary, “Alex’s War,” does not take a critical look at Jones and his work at InfoWars. Instead, it offers a straight-ahead narrative of Jones’ beginnings, first on Austin Public Access TV, then as a radio host.

Directed by Alex Lee Moyer, “Alex’s War” is described in publicity materials as “a searching and human character study of one of America’s most infamous, charismatic and divisive public figures.” The film draws on behind-the-scenes footage from his studio and rallies, with Moyer having full access to the InfoWars archive.

The movie is opening in only one Austin theater on July 29, the Southwest Theaters Lake Creek 7, but will be available on various platforms such as Amazon and Google Play/YouTube. It is also being released in theaters in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville, with more releases expected.

The documentary gives free rein for Jones’ various conspiracies, sometimes aimed at the so-called New World Order that he says is dominated by “the global elite.” Jones says his arguments aren’t wild conspiracy theories but are intended “to promote constructive debate.”



Jones contends such debate is needed because the U.S. government and mainstream media are corrupt, with Democrats trying to turn the country into “a Communist hellhole.”

As Jones runs through a list of what he sees as plots that include the U.S. government, the documentary declines to give voice to opposing opinions. Instead, the movie is told from Jones’ perspective, without contradiction.

At various points, Jones admits that he has made mistakes on his show, but that those mistakes were not made in malice, but came “from a place of goodness.”

Jones emphasized this point in a panel discussion led by journalist, author and lawyer Glenn Greenwald after the premiere of “Alex’s World” last week at the Rollins Theatre at the Long Center in Austin.

That, of course, is a consideration for the jury hearing the defamation case in Austin. The case focuses on the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, who are seeking two awards of $75 million for Jones’ portrayal of the death of their son and 25 others at Sandy Hook as a hoax.

The parents say that Jones’ claims of a hoax inspired his followers to contact them at home, confront them in public, harass them via phone and threaten their lives. Those followers apparently thought that the parents were cooperating with the U.S. government to fake the Sandy Hook attack to help justify government efforts to crack down on gun rights.

The documentary does not go into great detail about Sandy Hook, even though the case financially threatens Jones and his operations.

Two trials in Austin and one in Connecticut will determine how much Jones will have to pay for defaming parents. Last year, Jones was found guilty of defamation without a trial after state District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble issued a default judgment. The damages are to be assessed against Jones and his primary company, Free Speech Systems.

Jones has argued that his First Amendment rights are being violated, and that everyone in America should have a right to make arguments concerning major national events. He’s right in that regard, of course. But the court case against Jones basically says that his arguments led to horrors for parents who were already dealing with the death of their children and that there should be consequences.

The idea of consequences, however, is not explored in “Alex’s War.” The documentary also omits mention of Jones’ custody battle with his ex-wife, Kelly Jones, in 2017. In that case, a lawyer for Jones said that his client was “a performance artist.”

The documentary does, however, show footage of Jones in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, participating in a rally before the attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. Jones was subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the attack, but he repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment.


Charles Ealy
Charles Ealy
Charles Ealy is a former movies editor for The Dallas Morning News and Austin American-Statesman.

Editor's picks