Brain Pickings Icon
Brain Pickings

The Power of Nightmares: BBC on the Politics of Fear

What al-Quaeda has to do with ancient Egyptian morality and Ronald Reagan’s liberalism.

BBC’s The Century of the Self, an ambitious documentary on the history of consumerism, is one of our most read and shared pieces. Commenter Jeremy recently brought to our attention another excellent documentary by the same British documentarian and writer, Adam Curtis: The Power of Nightmares — a provocative three-part miniseries subtitled The Rise of the Politics of Fear, exploring the origins of radical Islamists and Neo-Conservatives through archival footage and Curtis’ characteristically insightful narration.

Much of this threat [of international terrorism] is a fantasy, which has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It’s a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, security services and the international media. This is a series of films about how and why this fantasy was created.” ~ Adam Curtis

The documentary, timely and necessary as we head into another year of “the war of terror” and all the political propaganda that propels it, is available on YouTube in 18 parts, six per episode, which we’ve conveniently compiled into 3 playlists: Part 1: Baby Its Cold Outside, Part 2: The Phantom Victory, and Part 3: The Shadows in the Cave.

If quality is your thing, a digitally restored version with imporoved sound and picture quality is available on Collectors Edition DVD.

Ultimately, The Power of Nightmares is an investment in your informed global citizenship — a compelling, controversial and thought-provoking exploration of some of the most fundamental building blocks of our present media reality and sociopolitical landscape.


Published January 18, 2011

https://www.brainpickings.org/2011/01/18/adam-curtis-the-power-of-nightmares/

BP

www.brainpickings.org

BP

PRINT ARTICLE

Filed Under

View Full Site

Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link on here, I get a small percentage of its price. That helps support Brain Pickings by offsetting a fraction of what it takes to maintain the site, and is very much appreciated