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 »
James M. Buchanan,
Crucial viewing for anyone ever exposed to advertising
It cannot have been easy to make a documentary series about the history of advertising and consumer society, about ethics (and their absence), about notions of the self and its manipulation in the interests of power and profit. In "Century of the Self" Adam Curtis lays bare the mechanisms of consumerist brainwashing. He does so in an entertaining and engaging manner, using archival footage, amateur videos and interviews of great historical and ideological value. His voice-over is sometimes humorous but the script never loses touch with the seriousness of the topic. This series is so important and watchable that I expose my students to a few of its most crucial extracts. At the best of times, the more thoughtful students seem anyhow to wonder what weird kind of world they have been dumped into. After seeing this film most of them start asking essential questions about ethics, propaganda, manipulation, individual liberty, etc. Essential viewing, I think, for anyone endowed with a brain, a critical spirit and a modicum of self-respect.
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