Film Descriptions

The History Channel – CIA and the Nazis (The Gehlen Organization)
The Gehlen Organisation was pivotal in supplying the West with intelligence on Warsaw Pact nations. The organization infiltrated these countries and tried to foment uprisings against Soviet control, while supporting other groups opposed to Soviet rule. The CIA worked closely with the Gehlen group: the Gehlen Organisation supplied the manpower while the CIA supplied the material needs of the clandestine operations, such as money and airplanes.

The Power of Nightmares by Adam Curtis
The Power of Nightmares, subtitled The Rise of the Politics of Fear, is a BBC series of documentary films, written and produced by Adam Curtis.
This documentary argues that during the 20th Century politicians lost the power to inspire the masses, and that the optimistic visions and ideologies they had offered were perceived to have failed. The film asserts that politicians consequently sought a new role that would restore their power and authority. Curtis, who also narrates the series, declares in the film’s introduction that “Instead of delivering dreams, politicians now promise to protect us: from nightmares”. To illustrate this Curtis compares the rise of the American neoconservatives and radical Islamists, believing that both are closely connected; that some popular beliefs about these groups are inaccurate; and that both movements have benefited from exaggerating the scale of the terrorist threat.

Century Of The Self

Adam Curtis’ acclaimed series examines the rise of the all-consuming self against the backdrop of the Freud dynasty.

To many in both politics and business, the triumph of the self is the ultimate expression of democracy, where power has finally moved to the people. Certainly the people may feel they are in charge, but are they really? The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society in Britain and the United States. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests?

The Freud dynasty is at the heart of this compelling social history. Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis; Edward Bernays, who invented public relations; Anna Freud, Sigmund’s devoted daughter; and present-day PR guru and Sigmund’s great grandson, Matthew Freud.

Sigmund Freud’s work into the bubbling and murky world of the subconscious changed the world. By introducing a technique to probe the unconscious mind, Freud provided useful tools for understanding the secret desires of the masses. Unwittingly, his work served as the precursor to a world full of political spin doctors, marketing moguls, and society’s belief that the pursuit of satisfaction and happiness is man’s ultimate goal.
Documentaries I have:

Oil, Smoke, and Mirrors

Oil, Smoke & Mirrors offers a bleaker view of present global circumstances than many of us would dare consider. It deals with issues that are largely marginalized, if not ignored, in the discourse of mainstream media and politics.
However, as the film argues, it may well be that mediated political culture itself which, by sidelining some of the most challenging questions of historical truth in our time, poses the gravest threat to our future.
Oil, Smoke & Mirrors is an independent production. The producer has neither association with, nor membership of, any political organization.

Merchants of Cool

Today’s teenagers have money and independence, their lives the object of obsessive focus by corporate America. FRONTLINE explores the culture of today’s teenagers and how they view themselves and their parents. Teenage tastes, attitudes, and aspirations are endlessly sampled by marketers to determine exactly what they want, while Hollywood and Madison Avenue tell a carefully tailored version of teenage life in movies, TV, music and advertising.

The Persuaders

To cut through consumers’ growing resistance to their pitches, marketers have developed new ways of integrating their messages into the fabric of our lives, using sophisticated market research techniques to better understand consumers and turning to the little-understood techniques of public relations to make sure their messages come from sources we trust.

9/11 Press for Truth DVD

In 9/11: Press for Truth, five of the most prominent members of the Family Steering Committee, including three of the ‘Jersey Girls’, tell their story for the first time, providing the most powerful argument yet for why 9/11 still needs investigation.

Robert Anton Wilson – Maybe Logic

Guerrilla ontologist. Psychedelic magician. Outer head of the Illuminati. Quantum psychologist. Sit-down comic/philosopher. Discordian Pope. Whatever the label and rank, Robert Anton Wilson is undeniably one of the foundations of 21th Century Western counterculture. Maybe Logic – The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson is a cinematic alchemy that conjures it all together in a hilarious and mind-bending journey guaranteed to increase your brain size 2 – 3 inches! From the water coolers and staff meetings of Playboy and the earth-shattering transmission of the Illuminatus! Trilogy, to fire-breathing senior citizen and Taoist sage, Robert Anton Wilson is a man who has passed through the trials of chapel perilous and found himself on wondrous ground where nothing is for certain, even the treasured companionship of a six-foot-tall white rabbit. Featuring RAW video spanning 25 years and the best of over 100 hours of footage thoroughly tweaked, transmuted and regenerated, Maybe Logic follows a reality labyrinth which leads through the hollows of human perception to the vast star fields of Sirius where we find one man alone, joyfully accepting his status as Damned Old Crank and Cosmic Schmuck. Beaming with insight, frustration, compassion, and unshakable optimism, the ever-open eye of Robert Anton Wilson penetrates human illusions exposing the mathematical probabilities and spooky synchronicities of the 8 dimensions of his Universe.

Ibogaine – Rite of Passage

Ibogaine is a substance that is derived from the root of an African plant that grows in Gabon. This plant is originally used during initiations of the Bwiti culture, but in the sixties the anti-addictive properties of this psychoactive substance were discovered by Howard Lotsof. Ibogaine is surrounded by controversy. The decisions about the use of Ibogaine in the treatment of addiction appear to be made on political and economical, rather than rational basis.

Despite the results that show the efficacy of Ibogaine, the pharmaceutical companies and the government show no interest and stay sceptical. Ibogaine has provided us with more insight in the mechanisms of addiction and the question if it needs to be used for treating this huge western problem gets more and more acknowledgement. Cy (34) has been using a mixture of heroine and amphetamine for about 11 years, but his three children and his ambitions are more valuable to him. Kicking his addiction is a tough job for him. It reveals all his suppressed emotions.

Moussavou (22) lives in the village Mitoné in Gabon. For her the traditional African initiation is part of healing process. She suffered from an illness for more than a year and she hopes that eating the holy plant will be the starting point of a new phase in her life.

This 50 minute documentary shows the different aspects of this special substance by means of personal experiences and explanations of ex-addicts, treatment providers and experts.

Czech Dream
Czech Dream (Cesky sen in Czech) is a documentary film directed by two young Czech directors: Vit Klusak and Filip Remunda. The film was released in February 2004. It recorded a large-scale hoax perpetuated by Klusák and Remunda on the advertising industries and the Czech public, culminating in the “opening event” of a fake “hypermarket”. The film was their final project for film school.

Remunda and Klusák invented the “Cesky sen” hypermarket and created a massive advertising campaign around it. Posing as businessmen, the two film students managed to persuade an ad agency and PR agency to create a campaign for them. Billboards appeared on Czech highways, and 200,000 pamphlets were distributed in Prague. A jingle was recorded and there was a series of television commercials. The advertising campaign slogans were “don’t come” and “don’t spend”, etc.

Crazy Rulers of the World (Channel 4 Documentary)
Three years in the making, Jon Ronson’s Crazy Rulers of the World explores the apparent madness at the heart of US military intelligence.

With first-hand access to the leading players in the story, Jon Ronson examines the extraordinary – and plain bizarre – national secrets at the core of George W Bush’s war on terror. The three-part series begins with The Men Who Stare at Goats, which charts the history of a secret US Army unit founded in 1979 – the First Earth Battalion. The programme uncovers the startling truth about this unit’s involvement with paranormal activities that defy all known accepted military practice, including mind reading, out of body experiences and ‘thought-death’ experiments carried out on goats at Fort Bragg. In programme two, Jon Ronson reveals how the New Age movement of the 1980s has influenced interrogation at Guantanamo Bay and in post-war Iraq. The final episode looks into the military’s involvement with remote viewing and mind control experiments.

Ecstasy Rising
‘Peter Jennings Reporting: Ecstasy Rising’ aired on the ABC Television Network. In the 1990s, Ecstasy seemed to come out of nowhere to join marijuana, cocaine and heroin as one of the four most widely used illegal drugs in the country. No other drug has ever spread so fast. To halt its spread, the U.S. Government has spent millions of dollars making a dramatic case against Ecstasy as a dangerous drug. The headline of this campaign has been that Ecstasy causes massive brain damage.

But this is a claim based on flawed science, and many Ecstasy users now feel their government has no credibility. What do we know about the real risks of Ecstasy? Has the government been its own worst enemy in the fight to stop the drug’s use? Peter Jennings Reporting: ‘Ecstasy Rising’ takes viewers through the seminal events in this story and introduces all the major players — from Alexander Shulgin, the famous chemist who was the first person to report the effects of Ecstasy, to Michael Clegg, the Dallas businessman who gave Ecstasy its name and turned it into a recreational drug, to the drug enforcement officer who led the fight to make Ecstasy illegal, to the DJ who brought Rave to America. This special tells the definitive story of how an obscure compound, discovered in 1912 and all but forgotten for over 60 years, became the drug of choice for a generation.

Manufacturing Consent – Noam Chomsky and the Media
This film showcases Noam Chomsky, one of America’s leading linguists and political dissidents. It also illustrates his message of how government and big media businesses cooperate to produce an effective propaganda machine in order to manipulate the opinions of the United States populous. The key example for this analysis is the simultaneous events of the massive coverage of the communist atrocities of Khmer Rouge regime of Cambodia and the suppression of news of the US supported Indonesian invasion and subjugation of East Timor.

Culture Jam

Culture jamming is the act of transforming existing mass media to produce negative commentary about itself, using the original medium’s communication method. It is a form of public activism which is generally in opposition to commercialism, and the vectors of corporate image. The aim of culture jamming is to create a contrast between corporate or mass media images and the realities or perceived negative side of the corporation or media. This is done symbolically, with the “detournement” of pop iconography.

It is based on the idea that advertising is little more than propaganda for established interests, and that there is a lack of an available means for alternative expression in industrialized nations. Proponents see culture jamming as a resistance movement to the hegemony of popular culture, based on the ideas of “guerrilla communication”.

Shamans of the Amazon
Shamans of the Amazon is a personal account  of Film-maker Dean Jefferys returning to the Amazon with his partner and one year old daughter. They journey deep into the heart of  the Ecuadorian rainforest to meet two Amazon Shamans, to learn about and experience the ancient ayahuasca ritual. The film will also show how this hallucinogenic ritual is being adapted and used in western cultures.

Hofmann’s Potion
Long before Timothy Leary urged a generation to “tune in, turn on and drop out,” D-lysergic acid diethylamide (or LSD) was being used by researchers to understand the human mind.

Discovered in 1943 by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, LSD was hailed as a powerful tool to treat alcoholism and drug addiction and to provide a window into schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. Much of that pioneering research was done by the team of Humphry Osmond, Abram Hoffer and Duncan Blewett, all working in Saskatchewan.

While researchers were establishing the medical benefits of LSD, others – like author Aldous Huxley – promoted the drug as a powerful tool for mental exploration and self-understanding. At Harvard, Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner and Ram Dass (then known as Richard Alpert) became popular heroes after the university cancelled their research project into psychedelics.

Featuring interviews with many LSD pioneers, Hofmann’s Potion is much more than a simple chronicle of the drug’s early days. With its thoughtful interviews, beautiful music and stunning cinematography, it is an invitation to look at LSD – and our world – with a more open, compassionate mind.

Surplus – Terrorized Into Being Consumers Documentary
Surplus: Terrorized Into Being Consumers is a 2003 Swedish documentary film on consumerism and anti-consumerism, created by director Erik Gandini and editor Johan Söderberg. It opens with footage of the protests at the 27th G8 summit in Genoa and centers on the views of anarcho-primitivist John Zerzan. Zerzan has written several books and numerous articles questioning various aspects of civilization taken for granted – such as time, progress, culture, technology, even language and mathematics.

He argues that peaceful protest has almost no impact. People don’t take it seriously, he says. It doesn’t “deserve” to be taken seriously. He advocates “property damage” and “property destruction.” While condemning violence against people, he claims “you can’t violate a building or a window.” He favors dismantling technology and returning to a way of life in-tune with nature.

The documentary relies heavily on fast-paced audio-visual collage techniques, resembling MTV videos and commercials. It uses lip-synching to subvert the ideas of those in power, like having George W. Bush speak for Adbusters or Fidel Castro mouth the words of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: “I love this company! Yeah!” It also uses music to emphasize action.

Who Killed John O’Neil

One Actor, One Room, Seven Characters: 9/11.
Traumatized by the September 11th attacks, one man struggles to dismantle official history, at the expense of his sanity and even his life. Grappling with multiple realities – and multiple personalities – he must retreat into his mind in pursuit of the truth. In a fictional film about non-fictional events, there is a place where belief and faith will blind you, where nothing is sacred, and to get there all you have to do is ask:
“Who Killed John O’Neill?”

Leap (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)

LEAP is made up of current and former members of the law enforcement and criminal justice communities who are speaking out about the failures of our existing drug policies. Those policies have failed, and continue to fail, to effectively address the problems of drug abuse, especially the problems of juvenile drug use, the problems of addiction, and the problems of crime caused by the existence of a criminal black market in drugs.

By continuing to fight the so-called “War on Drugs”, the US government has worsened these problems of society instead of alleviating them. A system of regulation and control of these substances (by the government, replacing the current system of control by the black market) would be a less harmful, less costly, more ethical and more effective public policy.

Disinfo Conference of 2000

The legendary Disinfo.Con 2000 conference held in New York–a huge counterculture event in New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom that was described by the New York Times as “Cyberpalooza”–including exclusive footage of Robert Anton Wilson, Marilyn Manson, Joe Coleman, Kenneth Anger, Grant Morrison, Adam Parfrey, Douglas Rushkoff, Kembra Pfahler (and the Girls of Karen Black) and more!

Censoring of Bill Hicks

A rare insight into the battle against censorship that the great Bill Hicks waged against corporate America and it’s mainstream media for the better part of 15 years.

Hosted by Janeane Garofalo, it documents Bill’s transition from a non-drinking, non- smoking, straight laced funny man, to a hard drinking, hard smoking, drug taking angry ranter, to the happy and finally, peaceful and insightful man of much wisdom.

After 11 successful appearances on The Tonight Show with David Lettermen, the ‘powers that be’ axed Bill’s final performance from the show. 4 months later, Bill would tragically die from pancreatic cancer at the age of 32.

Bit Torrent – Mark Pesce

The live presentation of “Piracy Is Good?”, delivered by Mark Pesce on May 6th, 2005 at the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney, or Hyperdistribution and the new laws of television.

The History of Marijuana

This is an excellent walk through the history of Marijuana. Woody Harrelson, well know Marijuana reform advocate, narrates this 1 hour and 19 minute documentary.

The film shows the complete history of Marijuana prohibition and how the various laws and institutions associated with it’s prohibition came to be. The documentary is factually based and has little commentary either for or against Marijuana while the film is clearly against prohibition.

‘Grass’ (A History of Marijuana)
This is an excellent walk through the history of Marijuana. Woody Harrelson, well know Marijuana reform advocate, narrates this 1 hour and 19 minute documentary.

The film shows the complete history of Marijuana prohibition and how the various laws and institutions associated with it’s prohibition came to be. The documentary is factually based and has little commentary either for or against Marijuana while the film is clearly against prohibition.

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