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  • Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky And The Media [VHS]
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Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky And The Media [VHS]


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Product details

  • Actors: Noam Chomsky, Mark Achbar, Karin Aguilar-San Juan, Paul Andrews, William F. Buckley
  • Directors: Mark Achbar, Peter Wintonick
  • Producers: Mark Achbar, Peter Wintonick, Adam Symansky, Colin Neale, Dennis R. Murphy
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Academy Video
  • VHS Release Date: 13 Jun. 1994
  • Run Time: 170 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004COSI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 278,414 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

A look at the life and work of American philosopher and linguist Noam Chomsky, concentrating on his views on the mass media and its effect on the democratic process.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By M. Southwood on 27 Feb. 2010
Format: DVD
This is a well considered portrait of a man whose implausible name is globally respected and disdained in equally fervent measure. Noam Chomsky is professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and 'arguably the most important intellectual alive'. Apart from his incomparable contribution to the academic field of linguistics he is perhaps better known for his disarmingly erudite pronouncements and well supported arguments about the political and social culture at large.The success of his rhetoric (apart from very often being self evidently incontrovertible) is that he creates a context in which the listener can think and an environment in which the listener/reader can enjoy insightful and important ideas as their own.

His detractors are usually characterized by bilious invective, aimed not at his ideas but at the man himself, and so offer no intellectual value. For example one William F Buckley Jr's thoughtful response to Chomsky's musings comes as a threat to 'smash him in the Goddamn face'.

This film is bristling with refreshingly original thought and a kind of politically principled, dynamic enthusiasm for the ideas being expressed, that when set against the dumb utterances more commonly heard in public may appear to some as subversive. But then as Wilde once said 'Public opinion exists only where there are no ideas'.

Chomsky's encyclopaedic knowledge is compelling to witness and enables quite complex notions to be framed in tangible simple and pertinent references. No conspiracy theorist, Chomsky's arguments don't speculate over the unknown. Rather they strip away the facade of the known to examine the methods and techniques a modern state employs to maintain general consensus, obedience and complicity from it's people.
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69 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. F. Gilbert on 10 Aug. 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
A nice depthy look at the world of the media, and their huge influence on people's opinions and decisions. Chomsky goes rigorously though the New York times archives, and other newspapers, constructing what looks like a clear picture of how people's opinions are informed by TV and newspapers.
Even the editor of the Times looks lost for words when Chomsky demonsrates how every single occurance of US supported attrocities in East Timor were whitewashed by the mainstream media. Not one time, or ten times, but thousands of times, every time.
Although people like to shout 'conspiracy theory' at anything of this way of thinking, it is quite adeptly researched. As Chomsky remarks at one point in the film 'the mudslinger always wins.'
No, there isn't a room of people deciding what goes out across national media, just a set of unwritten rules which you don't get very far in your career without. Any common sense can tell you that a journalist who criticises US foreign policy powerfully, (rightly or wrongly) the way some do, won't be very popular. On the other hand, one who does the same to official enemies, will be duely rewarded.
There is no conspiracy, there is no paranoia, there is just what really happens, and how we can try to understand that in context of real power.
Look at it with an open mind, and see the way that you look at the world change.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Tristan Martin VINE VOICE on 26 April 2009
Format: DVD
This 1992 documentary, made by the same people who made the more recent The Corporation, has finally got a belated release in the U.K. Was it worth the wait? Yes and no.

Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky and the Media is an exploration of the ideas presented in much more rigorous detail in his co-authored book (with Edward S. Herman), Manufacturing Consent - The Political Economy of the Mass Media. Whilst this release dvd is long overdue and most certainly welcome, it's not everything it should have been. The main problem with this documentary is that the filmmakers seem unsure of what to do with all the material they have amassed; Chomsky himself briefly mentions this - that the filmmakers have followed him all over the world giving speeches and that he doesn't know what they are going to do with all the footage, though they probably do.

As a result, instead of getting a really detailed, flowing discussion of, say, the filters of the propaganda model of the mainstream mass media, we get a couple of sentences from Chomsky at a discussion in Holland. Then the film will cut to a public radio interview and we'll get a few more sentences. Then another cut to a university lecture. Perhaps the subject will be finished off with a sentence or two on a video installation at a shopping mall, just to demonstrate that the filmmakers have a basic understanding of irony. This choppy approach to the subject matter does no justice to the articulate subject of the film and similarly, it gives no credit to the viewer for having an attention span longer than a few minutes.

Some interviews with Chomsky on this film are fascinating: mainly the ones in which he is challenged and has to defend his position, thinking on his feet, such as his interview with William F. Buckley.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Oct. 2001
Format: VHS Tape
A great film that allows the audience to look at Chomsky's efforts to enlighten the 80% of the population that he claims has no real concept of the powers that lay behind the American media.
An insight to Chomsky's life and influence, you cannot help but admire him as a man and a great free thinker.
With excerpts from many of Chomsky's speeches this film allows the viewer into a world of his long standing efforts to seek truth and the right to express it. You will come away with a head that buzzes!
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