Over the last weeks I have been watching two series of documentaries created by a British filmmaker called Adam Curtis that are extremely good. So good, in fact, that I believe any person wanting to understand current western thought should be required to watch.
The first series of documentaries, is called The Century of Self, and talks about how the ideas of Freud, and of people in his family that followed him, have shaped the way in which western companies and politicians control the masses by appealing to our selfish irrational motivations.
The second series, called The Power of Nightmares, follows the parallel paths of American neo-conservatism and of radical Islam culminating with the politics of fear. It shows how these two groups of radicals have, at their core, very similar ideals, and how their actions have resulted, almost unintentionally, in the current situation regarding the war on terror.
These two are a must-see, and proves to me how Adam Curtis is an awesome filmmaker, especially through his usage of stock footage and music in a clever but not flashy or patronizing way.