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Justin Weinstein: An Honest Liar

An Honest Liar is the brand new biography of leading magician, writer and skeptic James Randi. The film is being shown as part of the Sheffield Doc Fest in June and we are proud to host one of the filmmakers during the festival.

Writer/director Justin Weinstein is travelling over from the US for the Doc Fest and is joining us to talk about this unique documentary and share some clips of the film with us.

This is an extra SitP event for June and we will be in the Wilson room (upstairs) of the University Arms.

The Film

For the last half-century, James “The Amazing” Randi has entertained millions of people around the world with his remarkable feats of magic, escape and trickery.

Schooled in the techniques of deception, Randi saw his beloved magician’s tricks being used by faith healers, fortune-tellers, and psychics — not for entertainment, but to steal money from innocent people and destroy lives. Enraged by this, he dedicated his life to exposing those frauds, and would do so with the wit and style of the great showman that he is.

A self-described liar, cheat, and charlatan, Randi embarked on a mission for truth by perpetrating a series of unparalleled investigations and elaborate hoaxes. These grand schemes fooled scientists, the media, and a gullible public, but always with a deeper goal of demonstrating the importance of evidence and the dangers of magical thinking. In one of these acts, he transformed his partner, Jose Alvarez, into a fake guru named “Carlos” to show how easily people can be fooled. His work exposing faith healers won him the prestigious MacArthur “Genius” Award in 1987.

But when dealing with a master deceiver, the truth can often be hard to find. A sudden and shocking truth in Randi’s personal life is brought to light when the tale of multiple identities takes an unexpected and potentially devastating turn. And Randi – who spent his life exposing deception – may have perpetrated another grand hoax or become the victim of a very personal one.

An Honest Liar is showing in Sheffield at the Odeon on the 10th June at 15.30 and the Showroom on the 11th June at 13.00.

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