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HyperNormalisation (2016)

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.


Adam Curtis


Adam Curtis
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Adam Curtis ... Narrator (voice)
Donald Trump ... Self - Businessman (archive footage)
Vladimir Putin ... Self - Russia Leader (archive footage)
Victor Gotbaum Victor Gotbaum ... Self - NYC Workers League (archive footage)
Patti Smith ... Self - Singer (archive footage)
Henry Kissinger ... Self - US Secretary of State (archive footage)
Hafez al-Assad ... Self - President of Syria (archive footage)
Thomas Schelling ... Self - Economist (archive footage)
Soraya El-Hayan Soraya El-Hayan ... Self - Syria Social Affairs Minister (archive footage)
Leslie Gelb Leslie Gelb ... Self - US Department of Defense (archive footage)
Ronald Reagan ... Self - President of the United States (archive footage)
Nancy Reagan ... Self - Ronald Reagan's Wife (archive footage)
Ayatollah Khomeini ... Self - Ayatollah of Iran (archive footage) (as Ruhollah Khomeyni)
George Pucciarelli George Pucciarelli ... Self - US Navy Commander, Chaplain (archive footage)
Timothy Leary ... Self - 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They know we know they lie



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Did You Know?


The film closes with a montage, played over a Barbara Mandrell performance.

"Don't help me set the table Cause now there's one less place I won't lay mama's silver For a man who won't say grace If home is where the heart is Then your home's on the street Me, I'll read a good book Turn out the lights and go to sleep".

"Standing Room Only" from This Is Barbara Mandrell. See more »


Narrator: This was a new world that the old systems of power found it very difficult to deal with. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the security agencies secretly collected data from millions of people online. One program was called optic nerve. It took stills from the webcam conversations of millions of people across the world, trying to spot terrorist planning another attack. The program did not discover a single terrorist, but it did discover something else.
See more »


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On Some Faraway Beach
Written by Brian Eno
Interpreted by Brian Eno
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User Reviews

A summary of where we are and how we got here.
19 October 2016 | by philw-12See all my reviews

I don't often write reviews on IMDb. In fact, this is only the second one I can remember doing. So why am I writing one now? Because this documentary is brilliant? No. It's very good, but brilliant would be a stretch.

I am writing it, because this documentary is important.

This film is long, at 2 hours 45 mins. For a documentary, you would think you'd fall asleep long before the end. Trust me, you won't. It is never boring, and at times, it's frankly mesmerising.

In a nutshell the film tells how we have arrived in the post-truth political world, from it's origins in the 1975. It explains the complex interplay between politics, the rise of the internet, the media and social media. Using archive footage and the power of hindsight, it show's how our governments are now just controllers and managers of risk, rather than visionaries, and why you can no longer believe much of anything they tell you.

Sounds like a conspiracy theory right? It isn't. I pride myself on being a rational thinker. I studied science at uni. I'm not religious and I take pleasure in debunking the ridiculous conspiracy theories you see on the internet. This is different. Not because he backs everything up with sources and evidence, but because if you are old enough, you will remember the events, and you will know it makes sense.

I gave this 8/10. Would have been 7, but I think the importance of the subject matter warrants a bonus point. It could have scored a ten, but as I said, I'm a trained scientist, and I value evidence. The film is let down by the absence of enough hard proof. It left me with the feeling that it's absolutely spot on, and that I already knew what it is telling me, but just hadn't admitted it to myself. However, I feel that it will leave many, especially those of the more conservative persuasion, saying "where's the evidence?"

Some more hard facts; documents, interviews with insiders, anything, would have helped to convincingly drive the point home. That said, if you're looking for something that will make you think, you'll certainly get that.

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English | Russian

Release Date:

16 October 2016 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

HyperNormalisation See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Color (archive footage)| Color
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