Title: 1721

Creator: Amalie Seyffert

Category: Time

Creator Commentary:

In this short documentary, I discussed the phantom time hypothesis, a conspiracy theory that the early middle ages were completely fabricated. This theory, although ridiculous at first, tests our own conceptions of both time and of conspiracy theories themselves. It reveals time to be one of the greatest conspiracy theories, while also showcasing the pitfalls of many modern conspiracy theories. The Phantom Time Hypothesis is factually incorrect, and yet because of its eye-catching premise it drew me and countless others into all of its intricacies. Upon even a slightly closer look at this theory, it is almost comically wrong, yet I found myself doing further research in order to understand how such a bold accusation could’ve been made by Professor Heribert Illig in 1991. As many conspiracy theories do, it accuses two powerful men, Holy Roman Emperor Otto III and Pope Sylvester II, of conspiring against the common people for personal gain. It benefits from tropes seen within most conspiracy theories, and thus has gained some notoriety in Europe. By challenging our ordinary perceptions of time, the phantom time hypothesis challenges us to question even the most legitimate aspects of our modern society.


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Creator Bio:

Amalie Seyffert is an undeclared freshman interested in documentary filmmaking and sociology. A born and raised New Yorker, she spent her gap year travelling and producing content for Lincoln Center, an arts organization in New York.

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