Topic social control
Ninety percent of American media is controlled by five big, for-profit-conglomerates, creating a media monopoly of informational and social control never before possible. The overwhelming collective power of these firms raises troubling questions about democracy. Using a handful of in-depth cases out of a vast array of examples, speaking with renowned journalists, activists, and others, Shadows of Liberty reveals the hidden machinations of the news media, drawing into focus the vast mechanisms of censorship, cover-ups, and corporate control that have been built up over many decades. Journalists are prevented from pursuing controversial news stories, people are censored for speaking out against abuses of government power, and individual lives are shattered as the arena for public expression has been turned into a vessel for advertising, warmongering and distraction. Will the Internet remain 'free', or succumb to the same control by the same handful of powerful, monopolistic corporations--as we see?
By: Peter Vlemmix
Using the analogy of a Panopticon, this film looks at how technology and the convergence of vast data stores together are fuelling one of the most comprehensive attacks on privacy ever before seen. How is modern society being defined by such rapid changes? Where are we heading? By travelling to Germany to show how such attacks have been the basis for past dictatorships, Panopticon asks: Even if you have nothing to hide, do you have nothing to fear? What does privacy mean for you? When precisely does the surveillance state begin? What is your threshold? With a focus on the Netherlands, Panopticon offers a comprehensive analysis challenging the current herd-mentality and apathy about privacy in the modern world.
Golden Rule presents a picture of today's political economy interpreted through the framework of the "Investment Theory of political Parties". The theory, first articulated in 1983 by Thomas Ferguson, is largely based on quantitative analysis of activity in the stock market and its relationship to politics--that is to say that "elections are moments when groups of investors coalesce and invest to control the state." The film takes this theory and tests it against developments in the political and social spheres of recent decades, right up to the election of Barack Obama in the United States in 2008...
The Revolution Business examines the role of United States intelligence agencies in the whitewashing of recent revolutionary movements such as the Arab Spring and others by the use of "Revolution Consultants". Of particular interest is a man called Gene Sharp--the founder and director of the 'Albert Einstein Institution' in the United States and author of the handbook Dictatorship to Democracy on non-violent direct action strategies which were apparently widely disseminated in the "Colour Revolutions" of Eastern Europe, the Arab spring uprisings, and in the "Occupy" movement...
By: Temujin Doran
Obey is a video essay based on the book "Death of the Liberal Class" by author and journalist Chris Hedges. The film charts the rise of corporatocracy and examines the trending possible futures of obedience in a world of unfettered capitalism, globalisation, staggering inequality and environmental crisis -- posing the question, do we resist or obey?
By: Quincy Davis
Subconscious War is a video essay exploring the influences of media and the culture of violence on reality, and the cultivation of collective values in society. The film contrasts the writings of Aldous Huxley and Neil Postman's grim assessments; relating the concepts of works such as 'Brave New World' and 'Amusing Ourselves to Death' to the current cultural influences that foster today--corporate media and indeed media saturation, video games, television, and a pervasive technoculture, for example.
Television has colonised human storytelling--not only has creating and passing on culture been usurped by television and corporate media, today dominant culture is television and corporate media. The Electronic Storyteller outlines these changes and shows the cumulative impacts that television and mass media has on the way we think about ourselves and how we construct views of the world around us. With a focus on the stories of gender, class, and race, The Electronic Storyteller delivers an analytical framework to understand the pervasive forces behind what is at stake in the new world of saturated media and controlled imagery...
By: Julian Assange
Cypherpunks is a movement originating from the 1980s aiming to improve Internet privacy and security through proactive use of cryptography. With WikiLeaks being a recent offshoot of the many projects derived from the Cypherpunk movement, WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange talks with three activists from the Cyberpunk world to cover the topics of mass surveillance and social control being tied directly into technology as modern society progressively intertwines with technological progress...
By: Scott Noble
Human Resources -- Social Engineering in the 20th Century is about the rise of mechanistic philosophy and the exploitation of human beings under modern hierarchical systems. The film captures how humans are regarded as a resource by corporations--something to be exploited for pecuniary gain--by following the history of psychological experiments in behaviour modification, conditioning and mind control; applying the outcomes to modern day establishment experiments such as institutionalised education, and social engineering by way of things like television...
By: Scott Noble
The Power Principle is a series of films examining the history of the United States and the building of its empire with particular emphasis on the last seventy years of United States foreign policy. The methods that make empire possible are also examined -- the politics of fear, the rise of public relations, the 'Mafia Principle' and the reoccurring use of fabled enemies, contrasting the Soviet Union and the Cold War alongside the parallels of today with the "War On Terror". Not only does The Power Principle tie together historical events to revive a common thread, the series may also encourage viewers to reconsider their understanding of historical events and the portrayal of them, showing how those in power play a role in manipulating the collective memory through generations.
Film maker David Bond lives in one of the most intrusive surveillance states in the world -- Britain. When David receives a letter stating that both he and his daughter are amongst the 25 million residents whose details have been lost by the government in a massive data breach, David sets out to investigate some potential impacts of such data being lost in a society of mass surveillance. Erasing David documents the test where David hires two private detectives to track him down as he chooses to 'disappear' for 30 days to see if he can avoid being caught amongst the vast data trails generated by modern society...
By: Lutz Dammbeck
The Net explores the complex back-story of Ted Kaczynski -- the infamous 'Unabomber', as a prism to the often unexamined side of the history of the Internet. The film combines speculative travelogue and investigative journalism to trace contrasting counter cultural responses to the cybernetic revolution. For those who resist these pervasive systems of technology, the Unabomber came to symbolise an ultimate figure of refusal. For those that embrace it, as did and do the champions of media art like Marshall McLuhan, Nam June Paik and Stewart Brand, the promises of worldwide networking and instantaneous communication outweighed the perils. The Net links these multiple nodes of cultural and political thought like the Internet itself. Circling through themes of utopianism, anarchism, terrorism, CIA, LSD, MKULTRA, Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, The Net exposes conspiracies and upheavals, secrets and cover-ups as the subversive history of the Internet...
While corporations and governments continue to disseminate globalisation and the rapacious drive for consolidation of corporate power, people around the world are pushing back to reinstate local communities. Groups are coming together to rebuild human scale, local and ecological economies based on a new paradigm of localisation and sustainability. The Economics Of Happiness documents these shifts and shows how these communities have reclaimed their autonomy...
The Chicago Conspiracy reviews the legacy of the military dictatorship in Chile by sharing the story of combatant youth who were killed by the Pinochet regime as a backdrop to the history of the military dictatorship and current social conflict. The larger history is wrapped around three shorter pieces, which explore the student movement, the history of neighbourhoods that became centres of armed resistance against the dictatorship, and the story of the indigenous Mapuche...
By: Marcela Gaviria
The Medicated Child confronts psychiatrists, researchers and government regulators about the risks, benefits and many questions surrounding psychotropic drugs for children. The biggest current controversy surrounds the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Formerly called manic depression, bipolar disorder was long believed to only 'apply to adults', but in the mid-1990s 'bipolar disorder in children' began to be diagnosed at much higher rates, sometimes in children as young as 4 years old...
By: Adam Curtis
All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace is a series about how humans have been colonised by the machines they have built -- "Although we don't realise it, the way we see everything in the world today is through the eyes of the computers."
Manufacturing Consent -- Noam Chomsky and the Media explores the political life and ideas of Noam Chomsky, the infamous American linguist and political activist. Drawing on specific examples such as the corporate media coverage of the Indonesian occupation of East Timor and the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge regime of Cambodia, Manufacturing Consent shows how the collusion of government and media running the powerful propaganda machines that manipulate the opinions of the masses, is manufacturing consent...
By: Russell Porisky
Do we live in a democratic society or something other than this? What does the reality of our social structure mean when consideration is given to the supremacy of property rights over human rights and freedoms? Canadian presenter Russell Porisky analyses this and explains the difference between a 'person' and a natural person, which enables the massive implications of this in a legal context...
By: Kim Duke
In the summer of 1971, Philip Zimbardo, Craig Haney, and Curtis Banks carried out a psychological experiment to test a simple question: What happens when you put ordinary people in positions of power, enabling abuse? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? To explore this, student volunteers were selected and randomly assigned to play the role of prisoner or guard in a simulated prison at Stanford University. Although the students were mentally healthy and knew they were taking part in an experiment, some guards quickly became sadistic, while prisoners showed signs of acute stress, depression and trauma. After only six days, the planned two-week study was a disaster...
By: Darren Doane
Leading anti-theist, political journalist and best-selling author of the book ‘God Is Not Great’, Christopher Hitchens is pitted against fellow author, satirist and evangelical Christian Douglas Wilson, as they go on the road to exchange blows over the question: “Is Christianity Good for the World?” The two contrarians argue, confide and even laugh together as they journey through three cities presenting the debate...
By: Adam Curtis
If one steps back and looks at what freedom actually means for us today, it's a strange and limited kind of freedom. The West apparently fought the Cold War for "individual freedom", yet it is still something our leaders continually promise to give us. Abroad, in Iraq and Afghanistan, the attempt to force "freedom" on to other people has led to bloody mayhem. This, in turn, has helped inspire terrorist attacks in Britain. In response, the government has dismantled long-standing laws that were designed to protect individual freedom...
By: Adam Curtis
Is the threat of radical Islamism as a massive sinister organised force of destruction, specifically in the form of al-Qaeda, a myth perpetrated by politicians in many countries—and particularly American Neo-Conservatives—in an attempt to 'unite and inspire' people following the failure of earlier, more utopian ideologies?
By: Mark Daniels
Enemy Image overviews the history of the portrayal of war in television news from an American perspective. The film starts with the coverage of Vietnam where reports happened with little supervision, control or interference. Following this, The Pentagon takes action to control access by journalists to battle areas in subsequent invasions, such as the Invasion of Grenada -- where journalists were excluded completely -- to the first Gulf War, where news packages were provided directly from the military, to the embedded churnalism of the invasion of Iraq. Shown is the progressive tightening of control by the US military on the contact journalists have with soldiers and civilians in the war zone, in order that "never again will television raise the moral and political questions that face a people during war."
By: Brian Springer
Using the 1992 presidential election as his springboard, film-maker Brian Springer captures the behind-the-scenes manoeuvrings of politicians and newscasters in the early 1990s. Pat Robertson banters about "homos," Al Gore learns how to avoid abortion questions, George Bush talks to Larry King about halcyon and other drugs -- all presuming they're off camera. Composed of 100% unauthorised satellite footage, Spin is a surreal expose of media-constructed reality...
By: Robert Greenwald
The global growth of Rupert Murdoch's media enterprise is cause for concern. The concentration of media ownership on a global scale in the hands of one man infringes on the freedom of the press by definition at the very least. But the real life example here is Fox News and it's own claim of being "Fair and Balanced" -- one only has to look at the coverage of the invasion of Iraq for example, or "commentators" such as Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity and the interactions they have with their "guests"; the vast political connections between Fox News, the Whitehouse and the Pentagon propaganda unit; the suppressed news stories, the censorship, the manipulation and control over the "news" by Murdoch and the president Roger Ailes themselves, not to mention the control over reporters, with former journalists alleging that Fox News asked them to lie and when they refused they were fired. Even lawsuits entailed from this with the court ruling that it is not against the law to lie on a news program...
By: Adam Curtis
To many in both business and government, the triumph of the self is the ultimate expression of democracy, where power is truly moved into the hands of the people. Certainly the people may feel they are in charge, but are they really? The Century of the Self tells the untold and controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society. How is the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interest?
By: Laurent Guyot
The Future Of Biometrics takes a look at current day technologies that interface with the human body for surveillance, identification, tracking and analysis. Using fingerprints, retina scans, gate analysis and other more intrinsic physical or behavioural traits, biometric technologies provoke a range of pertinent questions around social control, privacy and mass surveillance, especially that these technologies are in use, today...
While advertising is clearly a visible component of the corporate system, perhaps even more important and pervasive is the often-invisible partner -- the public relations industry. Toxic Sludge Is Good For You illuminates this hidden sphere of corpocracy, examining the way in which the management of the 'public mind' has become central to how society is usurped and controlled by political and economic elites. The film tracks the development of the PR industry from its early efforts to win popular support for World War I, to the role of crisis management in controlling the damage to corporate image; while analysing the tools public relations professionals use to shift public perceptions.
By: Adam Curtis
As the mainstream media attempts to create a simple narrative from hugely complex events, much is obviously lost in the translation -- most often purposefully. This short film attempts to contrast the nature of this narrative in the 1990s, where events were almost universally portrayed as 'the little guy versus the big guy' to the post Rwanda narrative of 'scattered terrible things happening everywhere, Oh Dear'. Perhaps the film suggests that it is not that we actually can't do anything about these events, it is only that mainstream news presents these events within a framework that makes it seem that way, and how that in itself is a very powerful means to social control...
By: Adam Curtis
Based on the immersive theatre production and experimental work by Adam Curtis, It Felt Like A Kiss shows the story of an enchanted world that was built by American power as it became supreme post-war, and how those living in that dream world responded to it. Using extensive archive footage and music from many sources, the film explores the theme of how power really works in the world...
Rebel Without A Pause follows renowned linguist and activist, Noam Chomsky through discussions and talks on various world events such as the invasion of Iraq, the September 11th attacks and the War on Terror. Chomsky also weaves in accounts of media manipulation, social control, and discusses the workings of the politics of fear. The film combines footage from large forums to small interactive discussions on these topics, as well as reflections from others...
By: John Pilger
Denied a sense of nationalism since the second World War, Japanese society slowly re-established itself as a 'corporate' society in the eyes of the west, with hi-tech industry and mass manufacturing. Japan, Behind The Mask reports on the contrast between this popular image and the stereotypes of Japanese culture, revealing the reality of the lives of ordinary people who do not fit the image; the extraordinary part played by women; and the subtle, yet forceful way the Japanese establishment is today reclaiming its nationalism...
By: John Pilger
A Faraway Country is an examination of the Czech underground movement known as the Charter 77--an informal civic initiative in communist Czechoslovakia from 1976 to 1992, part of the Communist Soviet bloc. The film shows interviews with members of Charter 77, and others, describing first-hand the totalitarian communist regime...