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Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992)

A film about the noted American linguist/political dissident and his warning about corporate media's role in modern propaganda.

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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Himself - Interviewer
Karin Aguilar-San Juan ...
Herself - South End Collective
Paul Andrews ...
Himself - The Seattle Times
Himself (archive footage) (as William F. Buckley Jr.)
Robert Faurisson ...
Himself (voice) (archive footage)
Jeff Hansen ...
Himself (voice) (archive footage)
Loie Hayes ...
Herself - South End Collective
Edward S. Herman ...
Arnold Kohen ...
Himself - Journalist
Himself (voice) (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Yossi Olmert ...
Himself - Tel Aviv University (archive footage)
Lydia Sargent ...
Herself - Z Magazine


This film showcases Noam Chomsky, one of America's leading linguists and political dissidents. It also illustrates his message of how government and big media businesses cooperate to produce an effective propaganda machine in order to manipulate the opinions of their populations. The key examples featured for this analysis are the simultaneous events of the massive coverage of the communist atrocities of Khmer Rouge regime of Cambodia and the suppression of news of the US supported Indonesian invasion and subjugation of East Timor. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Primer In Intellectual Self-Defense


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Release Date:

6 November 1992 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Chomsky, les médias et les illusions nécessaires  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Up until the release of Mark Achbar's film The Corporation (2003), this was the most successful documentary in Canadian history, playing theatrically in over 300 cities worldwide. It won 22 awards and appeared in more than 50 international film festivals. See more »


[first lines]
[title card: They who have put out the peoples eyes reproach them of their blindness. - John Milton, 1642. ]
EMTV video host: Three, two, one, take two. Good morning!... My name is Kevin Flook, and I'm your video host all day here at EMTV.
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Crazy Credits

This film is intended to encourage discussion about media and democracy See more »


Edited into Holocaust Denial vs. Freedom of Speech (1994) See more »


The Music of Cambodia
Recordings (1967-68)
by Jacques Brunet
With permission of The International Music Council
Editors of the UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music
Éditeur Générale - Alain Daniélou
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User Reviews

One of the most important documentaries ever made.
1 October 1999 | by See all my reviews

Noam Chomsky has been called "arguably the most important intellectuals alive" by the New York Times and has been at the forefront of dissenting intellectual thought and activism for several decades now. This film takes a witty and intelligent look at Chomsky's well-documented theories on how the media serves the agendas of the corporate/government power structure - not as a conspiracy theory, but simply as an analysis of the way things necessarily operate.

This film is bound to polarize audiences. The ideas which are put forward and the facts which are revealed will shake some people's world. Many will disagree and argue against Chomsky and his ideas. Good. I think that's much of why this film was made. The disclaimer at the end of the credits states that the film was made with the intent to promote discussion about the media. If you aren't aroused one way or another by what is put forward in this film then either you must have been sleeping through it or else you are just plain apathetic.

The film is long. It has to be. Chomsky points out that part of the way in which the mass media manufactures consent is through concision. Sound-bytes. They don't take a lot of time to look at the facts or to thoroughly examine both sides of most issues. In order to think outside the paradigm of the mass media and to adequately discuss and defend views which go against mainstream thought, then you have to take some time. That's exactly what "Manufacturing Consent" does. However, the filmmakers, Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick, keep it interesting. They keep it from turning into three hours of talking heads.

To do this the filmmakers use some of the very techniques which Chomsky identifies the mass media as using in order to influence their audiences. It's wonderful and humorous to see how they speak the very language which they (and Chomsky) are exposing and criticizing. Don't be fooled, this is a propagandist film in favor of Chomsky and in favor of thinking about the world around you and then getting off your butt and doing something about it! Keep in mind when I use the term 'propaganda', that propaganda isn't always necessarily bad (the USA used propaganda to muster support for World War II and consequently Hitler's genocide was stopped). 'Propaganda' it just basically means that it pretty blatantly favors one view over another. Don't get me wrong, "Manufacturing Consent" is not completely one sided. Both sides of the argument are given screen time, but Chomsky's views come out on top.

Watch this film. Even if you don't agree with it, the discussion of the issues presented is important. It will raise your consciousness of what is happening to you every day whenever you turn on the TV or the radio, or pick up a newspaper, or even when you go to a football game. It will change your perspective and maybe even your life. And how many films really do that? That's why I say it's one of the most important documentaries ever made.

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