Monday, May 16, 2005

"The Power of Fear"

There's a new sensation at the Cannes this year, an entry called "The Power of Nightmares" by filmmaker Adam Curtis. It is a 3 part, made-for-TV flick that has been aired only in Britain so far.

I've not seen it (there's no info I could find as far as potential US release dates) but have read several reviews. It seems its a poignant, sobering look at the latest use of that most ancient and effective governing tool, fear. It apparently does not come across as an agitprop, or as cynically partisan (Curtis is quoted as saying "you'd be hard pressed to tell my politics from watching it") and the filmmaker tries to distance himself from the likes of Michael Moore.

But it does explore the symmetries between the rise of the "christian" neo-cons (or "Radcons", as Robert Reich calls them) and radical Islam, as well as drawing similarities between their respective architects. It also explores the theory (as did Tariq Ali in a recent speech in Seattle) that al Qaeda is no longer a threat (if it ever really was). The presidential election last year in the US was more about irrational fear from an amorphous threat and the need for cowboy-style military action to protect us from that "threat" than it was about all other issues combined. Can you say "Cold War"??


A viewer review.....

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