Individual freedom is the dream of our age. It's what our leaders promise to give us, it defines how we think of ourselves and... See full synopsis »
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2007  

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A series of films about how humans have been colonized by the machines we have built. Although we don't realize it, the way we see everything in the world today is through the eyes of the computers.

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A documentary about the rise of psychoanalysis as a powerful means of persuasion for both governments and corporations.

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The consequences of exploiting technological and political ideas without understanding and concern for the outcome.

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Investigating the way politicians erase, rewrite and interpret the past to their own interest.

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Individual freedom is the dream of our age. It's what our leaders promise to give us, it defines how we think of ourselves and... See full synopsis »

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Human beings will always betray you. You can only trust the numbers.

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Documentary

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2007 (UK)  »

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Западня: Что сталось с мечтой о свободе?  »

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(3 parts)

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1.78 : 1
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Narrator: When the government then tried to set a target to reduce the number of patients waiting on trolleys, the managers took the wheels off the trolleys and reclassified them as beds. And they redefined the corridors as wards and yet again the patients were off the lists. The Police were also under pressure to meet their targets. One of the main ones was to reduce the rate of recorded crime. Again, inventive strategies were found. Lothian Police announced the most successful crime figures in 25 years...
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Features Did You Used to Be R.D. Laing? (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

I didn't agree with all of it or even understand it all but it made me think and was engaging and interesting as a result
30 April 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I missed The Power of Nightmares recently so this was my first experience of the films from Adam Curtis. Perhaps, one could say, trying to get used to his style while also trying to take in his cases for societal changes about self interest, market forces, drugs, management styles, genetic control, economics and God knows what. And well perhaps you would be right to say that because no matter how well structured the three part series is, it is still a real challenge to take in and digest one point before the next one comes along.

Of course this is not a bad thing because normally watching television is quite a vegetative state (and if anyone can vouch for that, it is me) so having something that forces you to put your brain in gear is not bad thing. This isn't the same as me saying that Curtis is totally correct in his points or that I completely belief the basis for all the theories and points of view put across here. The reviews of Power of Nightmares (for example) seem to be good when the reviewer agrees with the viewpoint and bad when the reverse is true. I find this a shame and I suspect that it will mostly be the same here because of course if you spend three hours nodding and going "preach brother" then you will no doubt have already decided that it is great series.

Personally I found the delivery and degree of research to be very impressive. The archive footage is mostly very good and the non-relevant use (eg old movies etc) is not overused and is mostly in context. In regards the research and structure of the thesis I cannot even imagine how it is done with a team of people who are all either on the very same word on the same page politically or are very well directed by the man at the top because the basis for the whole argument (not just specific points) is really well done and supported. I don't agree with all the points made or the roots of some of the social changes that Curtis suggests and I think that if you come to this series without any opinion or thoughts of your own then you are probably not in the right frame of mind to appreciate it because I found it more valuable as a tool to spark thoughts in my own head and question what I "know" and also question what I am being told in this series.

Of course the accusations of political slant will be all over this series as with the last and perhaps at some points there is a case to be answered because New Labour is regular target – although I do think this is more to do with the part they play within society of the last ten years rather than a deliberate attempt to drag them into everything. Unexpectedly for me, the main problem I had with it was how it tended to repeat some arguments and go over topics it had already covered but this was a minor quibble for me.

Overall then an interesting and engaging thesis on the nature of recent societal change and theory. It didn't all convince me and had bits that I did disagree with no matter how well structured the argument was but it did make me think, which can only be a good thing. I'm not saying I agreed with it all or that I understood it all, but it was an engaging series of films and certainly different from the rather sedentary documentaries that tend to be in the majority.


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