Whenever Bill Hicks brought up the John F. Kennedy assassination during his stand-up routine, it was hard to tell if he actually believed the conspiracy theories he joked about. In berating his audience for buying the official report of Oswald acting alone, was Hicks merely fueling a persona? Or did the gags mask a sincere plea? Expect the line between comedic material and personal belief to appear just as blurred in The Truth Is Out There, which premieres at Goethe-Institut tonight. Narrated by Dean Haglund—the Canadian comic known mostly for playing a meta-hacker/32-year-old virgin on The X-Files—the documentary follows him around the globe as he talks to real-life geeks who truly believe this stuff, waxing conspiratorial on such topics as UFOs, poisonous water, the New World Order, and ghosts. But notice which word comes first in the film’s tagline: “Comedy, consciousness, conspiracy.” Will Haglund take the theorists’ ideas seriously or mock them for laughs? We’ll probably see some combination of the two. And perhaps director Phil Leirness will have the answers in a Q&A session after the screening. Or will he?
The film shows at 7 p.m. at Goethe-Institut, 812 7th St. NW. $11. (202) 289-1200.