The cold war, the space race, and NASA’s moon landing are landmark events that defined an era. But they are also fodder for conspiracy theories.
In Houston, We Have a Problem! filmmaker Žiga Virc adds new material to the discussion on both fronts. This intriguing docu-fiction explores the myth of the secret multi-billion-dollar deal behind America’s purchase of Yugoslavia’s clandestine space program in the early 1960s.
This masterfully crafted feature-length docu-fiction is an intriguing blend of reality and fiction that recreates recent history through the prism of conspiracy theories. It invites the audience to make up its own mind about what is invented and what is real. In between the blurred lines of reality and fiction, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek asks the billion-dollar question: ‘What is truth?’ Using a wealth of archive footage, the film brings together all the strands of the myth through an eyewitness account from Ivan, a senior space engineer in the controversial Yugoslav space program. After WW2, Yugoslav intelligence reveals the existence of long-lost space technology plans to their strongman Josip Broz Tito. Trapped between east and west, President Tito decides to exploit this opportunity for his new socialist state of Yugoslavia by secretly developing an ambitious space program. In March 1961, the program is sold to the U.S. Two months later President John F. Kennedy announces that the first American will be sent to the Moon. Regardless of what really happened, millions of people believe this is the historical truth, and that the two events are connected. 50 years after the Yugoslav secret service faked his death and sent him to America to work for NASA, Ivan finally returns home for an awkward reunion with the daughter he has never met. American historian Roger McMillan reconstructs the chain of events from the 1960s, using recently declassified documents. Together with Franc, a retired general from the Yugoslav People’s Army who worked on both the national space program and the cover-up, they reveal a complex web of secrets, lies, manipulation and the dirty games of politics. Using first-person accounts and never-before-seen archive footage, the filmmakers reveal the full story of a pioneering space research program kept hidden for over half a century, as well as the test site where everything began, Object 505. This Yugoslav air force base – now abandoned and heavily mined – once played a crucial, role in the space race. In the mid 1960s it was the biggest underground complex in Europe: a Balkan version of America’s more famous Area 51. As fact, rumor and fiction intertwine, the final decades of Yugoslav history are laid out in a way that dares the audience to take a highly critical view of what they see and hear on the big screen. Myth or reality? It’s up to you to decide.
TBU NEWS have contacted the crew of the movie “Houston We Have a Problem” about the movie itself and some other details regarding it, particularly about one deleted scene from the movie that has been published on their official YouTube channel .
Take a look at the video: Deleted scene – Department of Homeland Security
Description of the video states: “During the “Houston, We Have A Problem!” film production in the USA, European film crew is visited by two agents from the Department of Homeland Security. The film crew is then asked to leave New York in the next 48 hours. This video was shot on the mobile phone.”
The official statement that came from their press agent regarding these questions was:
“Houston we have a problem! is a docu-fiction which combines historical events and facts with fictional stories and characters.”…after some time another statement came…”Some parts of our movie are fictional and some of them are real. The main creative message of the movie is to let the viewers decide for themselves whether they’re going to believe its story or not. In order to avoid spoilers, we can’t comment on any particular movie scenes.”
TBU NEWS has managed to find an old movie trailer of “Houston We Have a Problem” from 2012 , during the time while the movie was still in the making. At that time the movie has been categorized docu-drama. The old movie trailer has been withdrawn.
Take a look at the first movie trailer of “Houston We Have a Problem”:
“Is it a Myth or Reality”?