FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – President of Eagle Vision Video Productions, Ben Haab says he’s struggling to find interview subjects that were against the Freedom Convoy for his upcoming documentary “Unacceptable.”
“We’ve been really trying to pursue people that either weren’t for the convoy itself or are okay with the mandates and some of the measures that[the government] is taking. That surprisingly has been the more difficult of the two interviews to get,” Haab stated after the release of the documentary’s first trailer.
Haab says that as it stands now, he has approximately six interviews that oppose the convoy compared to over thirty that support it, which is “nowhere near” what he wants for the documentary.
He adds that without interviews reflecting that point of view he’s had to rely on information released to the public, such as news stories, “mainstream media” posts, and the narration of comments and public posts from national healthcare professionals, including Dr. Bonnie Henry.
“Right now, we are not sitting at a balanced point where we have equal representation left and right. That is definitely one area we’re struggling with, but we haven’t given up hope on that front that’s for sure,” Haab said.
He says without those interviews, one side of the argument loses the human element needed to have an unbiased story.
While Haab is having difficulty getting interviews from one side of the convoy controversy, he commented on the challenges many reporters from media outlets faced while attempting to cover the blockade.
“They were very much so met with scrutiny and were being very closely observed. I’ve watched footage where people are telling the journalist that is out there to come right up to the front line and actually report what is happening and then being heckled for when they’re staying in the back,” Haab recalled.
“As a mainstream journalist, I couldn’t have imagined what it would have been like having that amount of animosity from the whole group being projected at you.”
He says while he believes some of it was justified, the rest hindered what the rally was really about as media access to information dwindled as the protest went on. He adds that he could see how the media, not having access to information on top of limited time and resources could struggle to cover the story.
“It’s hard to get a well-documented news report when time and budget are your enemies in that regard, you can’t sit there and soak it in, talk with six or seven people to get a clear understanding of what the motivations are behind the people in the convoy,” Haab said.
“You might, at the drop of the hat, pick someone that that has very polarizing different views. That gets reported on to mainstream media, then all of a sudden you’ve got some individual person’s viewpoint painting an entire movement with that viewpoint.”
As for the local reception of the Unacceptable project, Haab says residents’ reactions have been mixed, with some clients dropping multi-year projects due to his involvement with the convoy.
“It’s extremely unfortunate. We were very happy to work with these clients. But they literally use the words: We can no longer be involved with your company because of your viewpoints.”
Haab says interactions like these contribute to the divide that is being felt throughout the country.
“I am for sure in full support of the freedom convoy, so I have to carefully take myself out of the direction I want to instinctively want to push the documentary and actively pursue and find someone that thinks the opposite way to tell their story in order to balance this out,” Haab said.
He says that his goal with the documentary is to begin to try to close that divide.
“If you don’t listen to all sides and you can’t understand the other side, why they think this particular way, you’re not going to have empathy for them. You’re just going to get frustrated,” Haab said.
“If I can show those two sides to where there’s an empathy and kinda peeling back the layers of filters in front of the story and have it accurately displayed as we saw it. I think that would be, that would be the ultimate goal to open that channel of communication,” Haab said.
Unacceptable is slated to be released to the public in Fall 2022.
Those wanting to keep updated on the progress of the doc can do so by visiting Eagle Vision’s website.
Anyone wanting to be interviewed for the documentary can email Ben at email@example.com.