The Shock Doctrine (2009)

The Shock Doctrine (2009)
7.6
  • 2713
  • Not Rated
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release year: 2009 ()
  • Running time: 79 min
  • Original Title: The Shock Doctrine
  • Voted: 2713

Naomi Klein gives a lecture tracing the confluence of ideas about modifying behavior using shock therapy and other sensory deprivation and modifying national economics using the "shock treatment" of Milton Friedman and the Chicago School. She moves chronologically: Pinochet's Chile, Argentina and its junta, Yeltsin's Russia, Bush and Bremer's Iraq. A trumped-up villain provides distraction or rationalization: Marxism, the Falklands, nuclear weapons, terrorists; and, always, there is a great shift of money and power from the many to the few. News footage, a narrator, and talking heads back up Klein's analysis. She concludes on a note of hope.

#PersonCharacters
  • Outstanding! by 10

    After watching this film with a few friends (one of which was a former World bank employee), we had a rather mixed and somewhat heated conversation in the cinema bar. The film is basically a summary of the book, which talks about the ideas of Milton Friedman and how they have been used to influence world affairs. However, for those of you who may find the film 'superficial' I would recommend the book, as there is much more detail. Regarding the objectivity of the film, I don't believe that it's anti-American or anti-capitalistic (as my world bank friend remarked). Quite the contrary, it is very balanced and in my opinion Klein does not point a finger at a company without first presenting the facts. I think what a lot of pro-capitalists probably find annoying about Klein is that she brings the whole idea of multinational dirty dealings and currents affairs into the spotlight. After all, Halliburton, Shell, BP, the World bank etc. are far from angels when it comes to making money! I for one, commend the producers of this film and Mrs. Klein for a job well done!

  • The Extremes by 7

    Obviously, the opinions about this powerful documentary will be sharply divided. Liberals, and proudly I am one of them, will approve and cheer, and conservatives will call it communist propaganda and other such drivel. I lived in both communist and capitalist society. With the incredible youthful passion I fought communism and it's limits on free speech and artistic expression. And over 22 years ago I immigrated to the USA. And, it was a sobering experience. There is a freedom of speech, nobody limits the artistic expression( mostly because nobody gives a damn about art-the dying form). And there is the most troubling of all for me. The mighty dollar, the only pertinent thing. It really is all about money. Everything else takes the back seat. The extremes of socialism didn't work, because repression doesn't last forever, but, on the other hand, the extremes of ruthless, greedy capitalism, do not work either. The culture of ME,ME,ME is ultimately barren and lonely, and the impoverished will eventually rise up in arms, and who wants that. Nobody reads the dusty volumes of history books. If they were, we might be living in a different world.

  • The World of the New Order : Disaster Capitalism by 9

    As the economic incentive for peace is lost or defeated, and is increasingly replaced by investment in an endless and un-winnable 'War on Terror', and the capitalistic exploitation of disasters, both natural and man-made, there is a danger that one part of human society will begin to look increasingly like Israel, with its walled-off areas, and massive 'homeland security' apparatus?. and the other like Gaza?? This film by Michael Winterbottom, based on Naomi Klein's terrifying book 'The Shock Doctrine :the Rise of Disaster Capitalism', attempts to show how we arrived at this critical point in history. The film is faithful to the themes of the book and makes good use of contemporary newsreels and pertinent interviews, some conducted by Ms Klein herself. An important documentary, thoroughly recommended.

  • Fantastically Educational by 7

    The numerous examples provided in this documentary very effectively support the conclusions that Klein is making. This is NOT a conspiracy film by any stretch. This is just a history lesson that has you draw your own conclusions. It makes a major point that should be no surprise to any of us - that "shocks" have been opportunistic to the powers that are determined to promote their success above the general welfare. I appreciate this documentary because it focuses on important truths that too many of us refuse to accept even though the evidences are overwhelming. The documentary might be a little overwhelming for someone who is not familiar with the facts presented since they are presented in such volume so quickly. The documentary could have easily been twice as long, but I suppose that is what the book is for.

  • Half a case by 7

    We're all familiar with economic shock therapy, the idea that sometimes a massive destabilisation of the economy is the first step towards recovery. What Naomi Klein argues in her book, 'The Shock Doctrine', is that chaos is not just an occasionally necessary precursor of reform, but it rather exploited or at worst engineered by reform's proponents, because the consequences of the changes proposed would not be accepted by the people if offered to them a la carte in a less pressured environment. Michael Winterbottom's film develops Klein's arguments, and presents a fairly conventional alternative history of the world. But there are still some interesting details: I didn't know that it was Eisenhower, of all people, who first warned about the military-industrial complex; and it's welcome to see a different interpretation of what happened in Chile in the 1970s to the outrageous story told by Niall Fergusson in his recent BBC series, 'A History of Money'. Yet I still felt slightly disappointed by this film, because while it exposes the lies of the new right to be friends of freedom and democracy (by showing how they need to suppress freedom to get their ideas through), it doesn't address the other part of the argument, namely, whether their economic ideas are basically sound. Perhaps it does indeed take unpopular policies to rescue broken economies; one can dispute that this belief justifies coercion, but should a rational people accept shock as a price worth paying? There are lots of good arguments that say no, but the film doesn't make them; the case that equality is an aid to the efficiency of a country, as well as a moral good in itself, is here taken for granted, although this is arguably the key point of difference between left and right. I fear that this film will not convert anyone while the right's most insidious claim, that a competitive jungle is, however distasteful, the best of all possible worlds, goes unchallenged.

#PersonCrew
1Ewen Cameronarchive_footage
2Franklin D. Rooseveltarchive_footage
3Mat Whitecrossdirector
4Michael Winterbottomdirector
5Paul Monaghaneditor
6Alex Cookeproducer
7Andrew Eatonproducer
8Avi Lewisproducer
9Janine Huardself
10Naomi Kleinself