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The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom 

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, repeatedly, we have gone to war to impose freedom around the ... See full synopsis »








Series cast summary:
James M. Buchanan ...  Self 2 episodes, 2007
Paul McHugh ...  Self 2 episodes, 2007
Philip Mirowski ...  Self 2 episodes, 2007
John Nash ...  Self 2 episodes, 2007
Robert Spitzer ...  Self 2 episodes, 2007
Jerome Wakefield ...  Self 2 episodes, 2007
David Rosenhan ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Thomas Frank ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Elliott Abrams ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Stephen Byers ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Napoleon A. Chagnon ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Adam Curtis ...  Narrator 1 episode, 2007
Alain Enthoven ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Brian Ferguson ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Stuart Hall ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Antony Jay ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Robert Kavesh ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Yevgeny Kiselyov ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Michael Ledeen ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Arthur Levitt ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
John Major ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Robert Parry ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Tom Peters ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Kevin Phillips ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Madsen Pirie ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Robert Reich ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Robert Rubin ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Morton Schatzman ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Thomas Schelling ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Itzhak Sharav ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Clancy Sigal ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
James Strachan ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Friedrich von Hayek ...  Self (archive footage) 1 episode, 2007
R.D. Laing ...  Self (archive footage) 1 episode, 2007
John Maynard Smith ...  Self 1 episode, 2007
Richard Dawkins ...  Self (archive footage) 1 episode, 2007
Marc Summers ...  Self (archive footage) 1 episode, 2007
Isaiah Berlin ...  Self (archive footage) 1 episode, 2007
Kenneth Clark ...  Self (archive footage) 1 episode, 2007
Malcolm Muggeridge ...  Self (archive footage) 1 episode, 2007
Jean-Paul Sartre ...  Self (archive footage) 1 episode, 2007
Jim Howard ...  Self (archive footage) 1 episode, 2007
Alexander Haig ...  Self (archive footage) 1 episode, 2007
Francis Fukuyama ...  Self (archive footage) 1 episode, 2007
Jeffrey Sachs ...  Self (archive footage) 1 episode, 2007
Tony Blair ...  Self (archive footage) 3 episodes, 2007


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, repeatedly, we have gone to war to impose freedom around the world. But if you step back and look at what freedom actually means for us today, it's a strange and limited kind of freedom.

Politicians promised to liberate us from the old dead hand of bureaucracy, but they have created an evermore controlling system of social management, driven by targets and numbers. Governments committed to freedom of choice have presided over a rise in inequality and a dramatic collapse in social mobility. And abroad, in Iraq and Afghanistan, the attempt to enforce freedom has led to bloody mayhem and the rise of an authoritarian anti-democratic Islamism. This, in turn, has helped inspire terrorist attacks in Britain. In response, the Government has dismantled long-standing laws designed to protect our freedom.

The Trap is a series of three films by Bafta-winning producer Adam ...

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis


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




Did You Know?


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 Cities: R.D. Laing's Glasgow (1979) See more »

User Reviews

A sensible examination of the ideas of freedom.
30 December 2007 | by schism101See all my reviews

Much like his previous work, THE POWER OF NIGHTMARES, Adam Curtis' THE TRAP takes an intriguing and complex idea, the idea of freedom used by western governments, and expands it to three superb and detailed episodes, that looks how this idea has been developed, through cold war strategy, American psychiatry, political ideology and eventually to the Blair government and its use of free market ideas and target strategy's in public services. There is a lot to talk about, but all i would say is that, you need to watch it. If you want to watch a series that questions the state of things in the world and allows an intelligent and sensible argument as to how we have fallen into this false sense of freedom, that has led to the rise of social inequality and the disastrous attempt to establish democracy in Iraq, which has led to a rise in violent factions in the country itself and the rise of the threat of terror attacks in Britain, Europe and America, this series will draw you in as it is both revealing and eye opening, and the sort of intelligent documentary film making that we need more of. Naturally what sounds like a subject that may seem boring to some on paper, is perfectly handled by Curtis, who inter cuts talking head interviews along with a mountain of archive footage that is funny, revealing and disturbing. This is essential viewing.

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Release Date:

2007 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Западня: Что сталось с мечтой о свободе? See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(3 parts)



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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