Adam Curtis Documentaries on how systems shaped and distorted our world.

Documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis has an extensive body of work on how media, culture and systems thinking shaped (or distorted) our current world. Renown as a journalist and historian, Curtis have free access to the BBCs vast news archive, often using unexpected footages to create a "very strange" collage that illustrates current and past events. 

He is clearly a critic of market-based society, but not because of capitalism itself. All of his documentaries show that oversimplification and systematization of human agency in the second half of the 20th century failed to create a more stable society and made way to many horrors, often citing the Soviet Union, fake news and even the rise of Trump as an example of it.

Like Oil Giants before the Oil Crisis, the urge to make reality fit into systems, often blinds us from reality itself.

"Increasingly we live in a world where nothing makes any sense"

2015 Vice interview with Adam Curtis

The following youtube video is a quick segment about media and arts shaped Putin's Russia, more specifically, the role of the contemporary artist, writer, and powerbroker Vladislav Surkov - as mentioned by Jason in his presentation.


Below are some of his full documentaries. As ITP students, I highly recommend "Machines of Loving Grace", about the rise of Silicon Valley from the structures of Industrial Military Complex, 50s Cyberneticists, and a growing depoliticized Hippie movement. 



In his latest documentary, Bitter Lake, Adam Curtis tells the story of how Afghanistan became what it is today and the who were the actors in its transformation from tribal kingdom to the Taliban and shattered wartorn nation, starting with the unexpected arrival of hundreds of American Families in the 50s.

The first part of "The Trap - What Happened to our dream of Freedom", or what were the consequences of our cybernetic dream of numbers ruling the world.