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The Shock Doctrine (2007)

7.7
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Drawing surprising connections between market methods and CIA torture techniques developed in the 1950s, the film explores how well-known events of the recent past have been theaters for the shock doctrine, from Pinochet's coup in Chile, to the Tiananmen Square Massacre, to the war in Iraq today.

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Drawing surprising connections between market methods and CIA torture techniques developed in the 1950s, the film explores how well-known events of the recent past have been theaters for the shock doctrine, from Pinochet's coup in Chile, to the Tiananmen Square Massacre, to the war in Iraq today.

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[first lines]
Herself - Narrator: Re-making people, shocking them into obediance. This is a story about that powerful idea. In the 1950s it caught the attention of the CIA. The agency funded a series of experiments. Out of them was produced a secret handbook on how to break down prisoners. The key was using shock to reduce adults to a child-like state.
Title Card: The following narration is excerpted from the CIA's 1963 and 1983 interrogation manuals.
Narrator: It's a fundamental hypothesis of this handbook that these techniques are in ...
[...]
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peninsula of flowers
8 November 2009 | by (Porto, Portugal) – See all my reviews

As a film lover, the first question regarding this film is what should we make of it: a short? an advertisement to a web site? a raising awareness clip? Maybe if the director was more anonymous, this would definitely fall between the second and the third. But i will consider that Cuarón will have cinematic ambitions in any thing that he puts his mind into. And actually what he tries here is something quite interesting, and it has been achieved with unbeatable perfection 20 years ago, by Jorge Furtado.

This is a short film which, in order to work, has to obey to publicity rules. So, it has a necessarily short message, which has to strike the viewer and stay with him, and leave absolutely no doubts what so ever about what the filmmakers intend to pass. Here that message is simplified to the very minimum, since it is expected that we look for the site, and Naomi Klein's writings after we see it. So i guess after all this is a commercial.

What problems do we have? It goes straight to the point, perhaps to straight. Everything is delivered to us without the minimum concern about whether we'll buy it or if we have the grounds to believe it. Listen, i enjoy Naomi. Maybe she pushes a little bit too much on the conspiracy side, which always makes me suspicious - i build conspiracy theories against conspiracy theorists. But generally speaking, i think she's a lucid person and her ideas are fundamentally honest, i quite frankly, probably very close to the truth. But here in the short, we are supposed to buy everything that is told to us, without making us reasoning about it for a single second. It is an anti capitalism product which works with the same tools as the capitalism system. It is what it is against. Now, i would be willing to believe that 6,5 minutes are not enough to establish a theory, or to convince me to believe it, but in 1989 Jorge Furtado built one with 13 minutes. Watch that film. It is perfect, it is credible, every line, every opinion is given to us, and supported by surrounding concepts. It reasons with us, and appeals to our senses in the process, it's perfectly balanced. But than again, Furtado was a publicity maker, not a filmmaker, he was experienced in compressing messages.

This won't fully disappoint you, but watch "Ilha das Flores" to have this one done perfectly.

My opinion: 3/5 http://www.7eyes.wordpress.com


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