This dryly funny mockumentary about the lost work of a pioneering New Zealand film genius is probably one of the best examples of the faux-documentary genre. In fact, it was so successful that when it originally aired on New Zealand television, hundreds of viewers bought the premise hook, line, and sinker. If you didn't know any better yourself, it's entirely possible you might be duped into believing the extremely tall tale of one Colin MacKenzie, an ambitious filmmaker who made the world's first talking movie (years before "The Jazz Singer"), invented color film, and created a huge biblical epic that would put Cecil B. DeMille and D.W. Griffith to shame. Filmmaker Peter Jackson ("Heavenly Creatures") shrewdly inserts himself into the film via his documentation of the "discovery" of McKenzie's lost epic, which for years was preserved in a garden shed. This hidden gold mine, which Jackson likens to finding "Citizen Kane" in an attic, will forever rewrite the history of film--a fact to which both critic Leonard Maltin and studio exec Harvey Weinstein eagerly attest. Jackson chronicles MacKenzie's fame through newspaper accounts, still photos, and keenly inventive footage showing both the behind-the-scenes shenanigans of MacKenzie's "Salome" as well as clips from that crowning film achievement; if you don't believe the filmmakers, actor Sam Neill is on hand to vouch for its importance. Jackson has the self-importance of film documentaries down pat, from the "re-creations" of past events through photos and voiceovers (the film's narration is properly stentorian), and never tips his hand once through the interviews with film historians as well as MacKenzie's "wife." Even nonfilm historians and aficionados will be won over by Jackson's subtle humor and inventiveness--you'll remember the story of Colin MacKenzie for a long time to come. "-Mark Englehart"