The Power of Nightmares
This a series of three BBC documentaries that show how fear is an ultimate tool for politicians to preserve their power. As director Adam Curtis puts it, “Instead of delivering dreams, politicians now promise to protect us: from nightmares.”
One of the central questions the documentary poses is, Could it be that the image of a well-organized international terrorist conspiracy is just a myth? The impressive documentary does not say that there are no terrorist threats at all. It just doubts whether it is as well-organized, and world threatening as some politicians and fanatic leaders want us to believe.
Curtis illustrates his point by comparing the rise of Neoconservatism in America and the Islamic Fundamentalism in the Middle East. He argues that both are closely related, and that both parties profit from misconceptions, and exaggerated, illusory threats.
To date the series of documentaries was never shown on American TV. Curtis tried to get it on American TV, but he was told by a head of the leading networks that there was no way they could show it. ‘We would get slaughtered if we put this out,’ was the response of the man in charge of one of the leading TV networks.
The three documentaries first aired on BBC TWO in the autumn of 2004. An updated version was broadcast in late January, 2005. The series been shown in several other countries and is now available as a free download.
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