Was John Zielinski crazy? (Link to picture of Zielinski) That was the thought that occurred to Chase Thompson and Ryan Walker when Zielinski showed up at their public access studio in Columbia, Missouri. Zielinski showed up with a VHS camera and after telling them his tape was stuck inside, asked if they could help and then told that the tape would bring down the American government.
As Thompson and Walker work in public access TV, they listen to a number of cranks, politely, and then do what they can for those persons. So they sat down and listened to this latest one. But this “crank” was different and in the film “Zielinski,” we hear that the documentary “Conspiracy of Silence” was produced, but that Zielinski was pressured not to release it. Zielinski had produced a total of 25 books and was a world-class photographer (Zielinski himself gives us a detailed run-down on his career here), so it was far from clear that the fellow had a screw loose.
In its review, Variety sniffs that “Production values are terrible.” Walker agreed, but pointed out that Zielinski lives in a $100 trailer (Picture of Zielinski today) and while Walker and Thompson did what they could with Zielinski's materials, they didn't have much of a budget to work with.
While the filmmakers still feel that many of Zielinski's assertions are pretty wild and “out there,” one of his major assertions was one that he started making 25 years ago, that children are being kidnapped and sold into slaves. Unfortunately, authorities have come around to the view that Zielinski's charges are accurate and after about 20 years of people keeping their distance from Zielinski (“Stay away from the crazy man!”), his assertions on that score were vindicated.
The film “Zielinski” will show at Saturday, June 25 @ 7:15 pm at the Media Bureau at 725 North 4th St. Philadelphia, PA 19123