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Shock Doctrine [DVD] [2009] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.4 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005CFBZAM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 351,554 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Takes the core elements of Naomi Kleins book and vividly illustrates their major impacts on the lives of ordinary people in countries all over the world. How rich political and corporate elites benefit from natural and man-made disasters to push through an economic ideology that ensures power and wealth remains in the hands of the few in each society. Politics has become the handmaiden of greed and power, of corporate interests. The theme that emerges as the narrative unfolds is that disaster capitalism can be challenged, as we become aware of a different history to that which we are expected to docilely accept
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For anyone who has already read Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, the documentary will not come as a surprise but more a shortened, summarised version of it. As such it works reasonably well - it will remind you of the main thrust of the argument, bring up the main examples and show some of the less savoury ones in graphical form - giving them more of a shock power than words alone can.

Where I felt the documentary worked less well is that the book's content - primarily the presentation of the arguments, and then the last part (on a possible shock resistance developing) - needed to be cut down quite a bit in order to fit into the timeframe given. This will not really matter much, if the viewer is already convinced of the merits of Klein's position. If that is not the case, however, it is unlikely to sway someone more sceptical, as it could well be perceived as treating the topic a bit too superficially. While I understand that the documentary format will not be able to completely replicate a book, an added 15 minutes could very well account for this point (and it is not like it drags on as is, so an extra 15 minutes would not make it unbearably long).

In the end, if you liked the book, the documentary will not bring any surprises and it may be a good way of refreshing your memory in a shorter time than re-reading the book. If you want to know, what the argument is really all about, I find you will be much better served by delving into the book first, as the documentary tackles a lot of the arguments in a headline, rather than in-depth manner.
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This formidable movie based on Naomi Klein's mightily important book, explains how the financial `elite' uses shocks (crises) for implementing its `free market' gospel, or, better, to increase its economic power and concomitantly its own financial interests.

Economics (general shocks)
In his mightily important book `The Secrets of the Federal Reserve', E. Mullins reveals how the financial `elite' manipulated market prices and provoked the Wall Street Crash of 1929. What they didn't foresee was the gigantic economic slump and the massive unemployment that would follow the crash. The US government had to intervene in the economy with a `New Deal': breaking up the banking system and impose regulations and governmental interventions in the economy. The `New Deal' weakened significantly the grip of the financial oligarchy on the US economy.
The `free market' gospel propagated by the Chicago School of Economics (Milton Friedman) is nothing less than a frontal attack on the legislation provided by the New Deal. The gospel defends deregulation and privatization of the economy instead of regulation and governmental intervention (through its institutions and enterprises). The gospel tries to prove and to justify that free market policies (the old order) are far better than those imposed by a government.
The implementation of a deregulated and privatized (by selling off government possessions) economy was first tested in Chile and Argentina after military coups (shocks). It didn't work. The deregulation of the US financial system ended in a worldwide financial collapse of the banking system, which had to be bailed out by governmental intervention (the people's money) at a staggering cost of thousand of billions of dollars worldwide, a mind-boggling anti-shock treatment.
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If you want to know what is happening to your freedoms this film is a must see. Ordinary working people are manipulated by corporations and the politicians to keep the one percent wealthy at the expense of everyone else. This ought to be shown in every secondary school in the land.
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This may seem like a hard-hitting expose of capitalism's excesses - unless you've read the book. Seriously, the makers of this film have taken something electric, urgent and immediate, and neutered it for general consumption. There's no point sugar-coating the message of this book: capitalism is global poison. Don;t take my word for it; read the book, and you'll recognise the truth.
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As I'm studying environmental Studies this is very interesting for my studies and future career.
It is also offered an excellent introduction to capitalism in the 20th and 21st century especially focusing on disaster capitalism. If you have no clue what capitalism is you will have by the end of this documentary. Please follow up this documentary with Emperor's New Clothes by the same director as it follows on the story but with Russell Brand and UK centric.
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