Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media

( 1 )

Overview

The Canadian documentary Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media presents a lengthy, detailed look at the political beliefs of celebrated intellectual Noam Chomsky. Casting only passing glances at Chomsky's groundbreaking work in the field of linguistics and his eventful life, filmmakers Mark Achbar and Peter Witonick instead focus on his activities as a political dissident and media critic. Particular attention is paid to his contention that the American mass media serves as a form of "thought control ...
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Overview

The Canadian documentary Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media presents a lengthy, detailed look at the political beliefs of celebrated intellectual Noam Chomsky. Casting only passing glances at Chomsky's groundbreaking work in the field of linguistics and his eventful life, filmmakers Mark Achbar and Peter Witonick instead focus on his activities as a political dissident and media critic. Particular attention is paid to his contention that the American mass media serves as a form of "thought control in a democratic society," with major news organizations systematically bending the truth to support the status quo. Chomsky defends this belief in numerous public appearances, lectures, and debates, siting as examples the widely divergent media treatment of genocidal activities in Cambodia and East Timor and the unquestioned acceptance of America's Gulf War policy. While opposing viewpoints and rebuttals are sometimes aired, the filmmakers quite clearly are in general agreement with Chomsky and even include humorous visual illustrations of his political theories, utilizing stock footage, on-screen diagrams, and the like. Despite its clear favoritism, the film nevertheless succeeds in making a thought-provoking case for these ideas and provides an intriguing glimpse into the life of a complex, driven thinker.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Noam Chomsky is one of the most provocative and thought-provoking political analysts in America (even his detractors, several of whom are interviewed in this film, acknowledge his intelligence and influence), but most of Chomsky's admirers will concede that his style as both a writer and speaker is a bit on the dry side -- he often sounds like the veteran academic he happens to be. But with Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, directors Peter Wintonick and Mark Achbar have created a superb "Beginner's Guide to Noam Chomsky" that streamlines many of his most important and influential ideas without dumbing them down, presenting them in a manner that's often witty and consistently entertaining but doesn't compromise their importance or the gravity of the issues involved. Wintonick and Achbar cleverly use the sort of visual tricks one might expect from a network television documentary, though in the service of a film that calls the integrity of the mass media into question, using intelligent and subtle humor to create a useful visual corollary to Chomsky's statements (such as the sequence in which they compare the New York Times' coverage of Cambodia and East Timor by lining the clippings up next to each other). Manufacturing Consent is hardly the last word on Noam Chomsky, but it's a powerful and compelling look at a major thinker and makes clear why his ideas matter.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/26/2002
  • UPC: 795975101325
  • Original Release: 1993
  • Rating:

  • Source: Zeitgeist Films
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William F. Buckley
Noam Chomsky
Robert Faurisson
Michel Foucault
Jeff Greenfield
Peter Jennings Participant
Sarah McClendon Participant
Karl E. Meyer
Bill Moyers
Technical Credits
Mark Achbar Director
Peter Wintonick Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Producer
Savas Kalogeras Cinematographer
Dennis Murphy Executive Producer
Colin Neale Executive Producer
Carl Schultz Score Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Every American Should See this Documentary

    To understand why our contact with the news is so limited, and how it's selected, watch this far-reaching documentary about the difference between "free" and "fascist" societies--the latter able to coerce public cooperation with force, the former forced to shape public opinion through ownership and control of the media. Though there are signs that Chomsky's message is finally getting through to some of today's television commentators, the extent of the media's manipulation of our consciousness is probed by reporting this "lone voice crying in the wilderness." The "story" we are hearing is the story corporate America wants us to hear.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews