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      Adam Curtis: Bitter Lake

      2015 List
      Reviews 77% Audience Score 50+ Ratings Read More Read Less

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      Dorothy Woodend The Tyee (British Columbia) If you want a detailed, almost to a fault, explanation of how ISIS came to be, Bitter Lake is an excellent primer on the rise of fundamental extremism, beginning in the sands of Saudi Arabia. Aug 16, 2017 Full Review James Hennessy 4:3 Bitter Lake documents the modern history of Afghanistan as a graveyard for political discourse: where concise slogans and chest-thumping war mantras go to die. Rated: Recommended Mar 27, 2017 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Cg B Fascinating and infuriating in equal measure - overlong and ultimately incoherent. Startling, previously unseen footage presented then left unexplained, or left hanging, not just out of context, but with no context offered whatsoever. The timeline judders across decades and borders, tension builds and dissipates, then builds again, leaving this viewer in a state of nervous exhaustion and fighting against an overwhelming pessimism about the future of the human race. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 10/24/22 Full Review Audience Member Adam Curtis will probably be a name familiar with many of you, his new series, Can't Get You Out Of My Head, premiered on BBC this week. Bitter Lake is a harrowing, and frankly staggering exploration of Saudi Arabia's relationship with the U.S, reaching back as far as the 1950's. Many will know the key points in this relationship, but Bitter Lake delves into how this particular association affected the war in Afghanistan. What is particularly worrying about the documentary is that western politicians attempted to simplify the Afghanistan conflict into a black and white battle between good and evil to justify the violence; or at least that's what you originally assume, only to discover that it appears no-one involved in the conflict, from a western perspective, had ever picked up a history book. Curtis' style is addictive, as is his phenomenal ability to handpick such a perfect soundtrack, using Nine Inch Nails and Burial amongst others to compelling effect. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/29/23 Full Review Audience Member A stunning expose re the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the USA. Also a look at how Russia and Western countries have tried and failed to change the political system of Afghanistan because they fail to learn lessons from the past. We have been fed a tainted and extreme version of the events that transpired in Afghanistan (ie it's good vs evil) by mainstream news outlets. Whereas this doc tells a different story and provides the context to make sense of it all. It's a bit long (over 2hrs) but it flies by because it's so engrossing and interesting. All is not as it seems. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/15/23 Full Review Audience Member At once both brilliant and moronic. The delivery of the message that politicians are not in control of much and that the world has become so complex that nothing much makes sense any more feels very convincing. Trying to tie the banking industry into this neat web might strike people as extremely clever and apt. In fact Curtis is simply projecting his left wing demagoguery onto his audience in a facile way. Curtis with one hand tells us that the world is too complex to explain and with the other is telling us that there's a very basic narrative to how the world's foreign diplomacy and economic position has arisen. Some of what he mentions is a very good interpretation of events but ultimately it is just one interpretation of very complex issues. It is all told through the eyes of a left wing cynic. Someone who clearly opposes capitalism and accuses the West of having no values. I haven't got all day to argue how inane this kind of outlook can be and it's a shame that the Director sullies his at times impressive and interesting perspective with such starkly judgemental opinions in what is meant to be a film about grey areas. Very annoyed because I loved and hated this film in equal measure. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Audience Member Enlightening and still on iPlayer Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Adam Curtis: Bitter Lake

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      Adam Curtis