Shock Doctrine

The Shock Doctrine

Director: Mat Whitecross, Michael Winterbottom

Cast: Mat Whitecross, Michael Winterbottom, Naomi Klein, Kieran O'Brien

     
 
Naomi Klein's controversial best-selling book which explores how both natural and man-made disasters are used to force disadvantageous political and economic changes on unwilling governments is brought to the screen in this documentary from filmmakers Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross. Using electroshock treatment as a metaphor -- a harsh jolt to the body and

Overview

Naomi Klein's controversial best-selling book which explores how both natural and man-made disasters are used to force disadvantageous political and economic changes on unwilling governments is brought to the screen in this documentary from filmmakers Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross. Using electroshock treatment as a metaphor -- a harsh jolt to the body and brain that, after being embraced as a healing method, was in turn discovered to cause more harm than good -- The Shock Doctrine explores how the United States, with the help of the C.I.A., became enamored of Milton Friedman's interpretation of free-market capitalism and attempted to persuade developing nations of its value. However, since fully unregulated markets tended to create an unbalanced economic climate in which a small number of people became extremely wealthy and vast numbers were plunged into poverty, the United States was only successful at selling free market deregulation to countries in crisis who had no practical choice than to do what the wealthiest and most powerful nation on Earth demanded. The results led to both widespread privation and violence in Russia, Poland, Chile, South Africa and the Middle East, and The Shock Doctrine explains how this happened, where it's still going on, and what can be done to stop it. The Shock Doctrine was an official selection at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
By fashioning Naomi Klein's nonfiction book The Shock Doctrine into a feature-length documentary, multi-faceted British director Michael Winterbottom streamlines her arguments, and offers a rather compelling explanation of how the confluence of economic theory and secret CIA studies laid the foundation for the Bush administration's Iraq War battle plan. The story starts in the '50s, when economist Milton Friedman puts forth a series of arguments that will eventually form the basis for Thatcher-, Reagan-, and Bush-era economic policies -- namely that the government shouldn't regulate business in any way whatsoever. At around the same time that Friedman begins to make a name for himself, the CIA conducts secret experiments to test the effects of electroshock and sensory deprivation on human beings. The movie argues that these two events are similar -- where Friedman wanted to shock entire economies, the CIA began to understand how individuals reacted to being in a constant state of shock. Friedman's theories are first tested in Chile after a U.S.-backed coup led by Augusto Pinochet overthrows the democratically elected leader Salvador Allende, a period covered in depth by the movie. Winterbottom and company go on to explain how Friedman disciple Margaret Thatcher applied his principles to enact sweeping change in Britain during the '80s, drumming up a tidal wave of patriotism with the Falkland Islands War. While the film offers a fascinating explanation of recent history, it really gels when highlighting some startling inconsistencies in the rhetoric of many politicians. The primary example of this is the argument that freedom and democracy will bring economic prosperity -- a fact undercut throughout the movie by showing how those policies have shrunk the middle class in every country that's adopted them. And the final third of the movie -- when we see footage of Iraqi prisoners in Guantanamo being treated exactly like the human guinea pigs in those early CIA experiments -- is a powerful and persuasive piece of activist documentary filmmaking. While there are many people who just won't want to listen to what Winterbottom and Klein have to say, The Shock Doctrine will give those who have yet to make up their minds about Bush-era American foreign policy plenty to think about.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/18/2011
UPC:
0698452208732
Original Release:
2009
Source:
Kimstim
Time:
1:18:00
Sales rank:
43,964

Special Features

Closed Caption

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Shock Doctrine
1. Introduction [5:14]
2. The Other Doctor Shock [4:03]
3. The First Test: Chile [3:14]
4. The Shock of War [3:54]
5. The Economic Shock [6:36]
6. The Revolution Spreads [7:06]
7. The Chicago School and the English Speaking World [8:09]
8. Beyond the Iron Curtain [10:54]
9. A New Enemy [1:33]
10. The Shock of 9/11 [1:53]
11. The War on Terror, Part 1 [2:33]
12. The War on Terror, Part 2 [:44]
13. War as Mass Torture [3:02]
14. The Economic Shock [4:43]
15. The Shock of Enforcement [1:24]
16. Profiting from War [4:08]
17. A World of Green Zones and Red Zones [5:16]
18. The End of an Era [5:49]
19. End Credits [2:05]

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