The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Law & Crime, Politics & Government, Social Issues  |   Run Time - 178 min.  |   Countries - UK  |  
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Political proverb states that a population in fear is a population that is easily controlled. In this documentary exploring the climate of fear that existed in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, filmmaker Adam Curtis explores the possibility that Western neoconservatives used anxiety as a tool to manipulate the masses into behaving in a predictable and controllable manner. By claiming that contemporary Western Democracy relies more on propagating the myth of an all-powerful al-Qaeda just waiting for the right time to strike rather than focusing on domestic issues and the bettering of the people, as previous generations of politicians had done, Curtis suggests that Washington is intentionally manipulating the population into a defensive stance that gives those in charge more power than necessary.

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Keywords

al-Qaeda, fear, fundamentalism, intimidation, manipulation, politics, strategy, terrorism, theory, threat