Influence (2020)

  • Documentary
  • 1h 30m

This story of influence and weaponised communication centres on the infamous Lord Tim Bell and his associates, known for their controversial geopolitical spin-doctoring. Bell designed campaigns for unpopular politicians, dictators, disgraced companies, and celebrities the same way he put together product branding - by being concise and brutal. In 1987 he cofounded Bell Pottinger, which quickly became one of the most influential reputation-management companies in the world—until one of those campaigns incited racial division in South Africa and ruined Bell Pottinger’s reputation to a degree beyond spinning. Using a fascinating blend of archival footage and interviews with Bell and the people who worked with, for, or against him, filmmakers Diana Neille and Richard Poplak conduct an impressively thorough investigation into the politicisation of modern communication.

Language

English/Spanish with English subtitles