Adam Curtis explains how, at a time of confusing and inexplicable world events, politicians and the people they represent have retreated in to a damaging over-simplified version of what is happening.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Narrator (voice)
Himself - Businessman (archive footage)
Himself - Russia Leader (archive footage)
Victor Gotbaum ...
Himself - NYC Workers League (archive footage)
Herself - Singer (archive footage)
Himself - US Secretary of State (archive footage)
Hafez al-Assad ...
Himself - President of Syria (archive footage)
Thomas Schelling ...
Himself - Economist (archive footage)
Soraya El-Hayan ...
Herself - Syria Social Affairs Minister (archive footage)
Leslie Gelb ...
Himself - US Department of Defense (archive footage)
Himself - President of the US (archive footage)
Herself - Ronald Reagan's Wife (archive footage)
Ruhollah Khomeyni ...
Himself - Ayatollah of Iran (archive footage)
George Pucciarelli ...
Himself - US Navy Commander, Chaplain (archive footage)
Timothy Leary ...
Himself - Psychologist (archive footage)


HyperNormalisation tells the extraordinary story of how we got to this strange time of great uncertainty and confusion - where those who are supposed to be in power are paralysed - and have no idea what to do. And, where events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control - from Donald Trump to Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless migrant crisis, and random bomb attacks. It explains not only why these chaotic events are happening - but also why we, and our politicians, cannot understand them. The film shows that what has happened is that all of us in the West - not just the politicians and the journalists and the experts, but we ourselves - have retreated into a simplified, and often completely fake version of the world. But because it is all around us, we accept it as normal. From BBCiPlayer

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User Reviews

We're not the good guys
27 October 2016 | by See all my reviews

HyperNormalisation is both fascinating and hard to watch. Its format is more like a postmodern art film: there's a stream of archive news interspersed with interviews and close-up footage and repeated frames. It features disturbingly violent scenes. There's a voice-over and sometimes on-screen text. It's busy and frantic, and it keeps coming at you like a battering ram. It's also very long - and yet it's also very easy to watch. It draws you in and keeps you there, horrified but hypnotized. It's strange to think a documentary about deeply contentious political issues could be so compelling, and yet Curtis pulls it off.

This film alone can't explain the Middle East situation or life under the corporate thumb, but it provides enough detail and curiosity to make you want to verify the details for yourself - and that's exactly as it should be. It pulls no punches naming and shaming a politicians, bankers, advertisers, strategists and war mongers on all sides. Curtis' aim is to unpick our culture of 'hypernormalisation' - in which nothing seems real anymore, because it isn't (it's carefully orchestrated or controlled, even when it appears to be chaotic). It's an anti-propaganda film, similar in approach to Noam Chomsky or even Michael Moore, and it burrows to the heart of everything that makes our society seem at times so sick and hopeless. It's brutal, but in the most useful way.

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