Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom (2007)

Adam Curtis


The many ways in which Western notions of personal and political freedom are changing in the 21st Century are explored in this three-part documentary from writer and filmmaker Adam Curtis. Part one, titled "F--k You, Buddy," explores how the widely held belief formulated by economist Friedrich von Hayek that the free market system would create a wealthier and more responsible society is giving way to John Nash's principle that individuals will almost always do what is in their own best interest, even if its at the expense of others. Part Two, "The Lonely Robot," focuses on how governments often act in their own interest at the expense of their citizens, and the malaise that's a by product of growing cynicism by ordinary people towards their leaders. And the conclusion, "We Will Force You To Be Free," investigates the theories of British thinker Isaiah Berlin and his twin principles of "positive liberty" (in which the people take direct and active control of their destiny) and "negative liberty" (freedom that inherited with no active effort towards any specific goal). Featuring interviews with John Nash, James Buchanan, Robert Reich, Tom Peters, Thomas Frank, Sir Anthony Jay and many others, The Trap: What Happened To Our Dream Of Freedom was originally produced for British television, but later received theatrical screenings at a number of film festivals.


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