PsyWar (2010)

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Treading into the waters of Psychological Warfare with this weeks NA Films Monday Movie.  PsyWar was written and directed by Scott Noble as his directorial debut.  While it's not as good as any of the Adam Curtis films (specifically  The Century of the Self Parts IIIIII and IVwe've highlighted on this site, it does contain some amazing commentary from Howard Zinn, Michael Parenti and Peter Phillips as well as some great visual examples from very recent world events as well as some well know ad campaigns.

From their website:
This film explores the evolution of propaganda and public relations in the United States, with an emphasis on the elitist theory of democracy and the relationship between war, propaganda and class.

A deep, richly illustrated study of the nature and history of propaganda, featuring some of the world's most insightful critics, Psywar exposes the propaganda system, providing crucial background and insight into the control of information and thought.

Full Film (1:39:02)

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Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging (2008)

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One of the longstanding topics that Adam and John address on No Agenda is the pharmaceutical industry.  Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging is one of the best documentaries I've found that deals with this topic, mostly with the same attitude and skepticism that Adam and John bring.

It was made by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which, for what it's worth, is a group I just now looked up and have basically no knowledge of.

Here is their description:
"Psychotropic drugs. It’s the story of big money—drugs that fuel a $330 billion psychiatric industry, without a single cure. The cost in human terms is even greater—these drugs now kill an estimated 42,000 people every year. And the death count keeps rising. Containing more than 175 interviews with lawyers, mental health experts, the families of victims and the survivors themselves, this riveting documentary rips the mask off psychotropic drugging and exposes a brutal but well-entrenched money-making machine."

Full Film (1:34:43):


The Good Shepherd (2006)

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The Good Shepherd is an interesting movie from many, many NA angles.  First of all, it's a fictionalized telling of the birth of the CIA and so it stands as Hollywood's entry as the official version of how the CIA was born (in much the same way Zero Dark Thirty is the official Hollywood version of the hunt/killing of Osama Bin Laden).

From a No Agenda perspective, I find the film to be endlessly fascinating.  On one hand, it has major Hollywood stars who are notorious for their Democrat/progressive political activism (Robert DeNiro, Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie and Alec Baldwin), so you have to keep that in mind when watching this film.  How would staunch Democrat supporters want the CIA to be portrayed?  Is the war between Obama and the CIA new or is that part of Democrat party politics?

On the other hand, there are scenes in the film that show the inner workings of the Yale University secret society Skull and Bones as a recruitment tool for the United States intelligence community.  There is even a scene with Joe Pesci (who came out of retirement for the part) playing a mob boss who is meeting with top CIA officials about the "Castro situation".

On yet a third hand, the CIA itself has publicly said the films fails in all of its attempts to tell the story of the founding of the organisation.  Or is that just their cover story.  From Wikipedia:

"A film can take a strictly documentary approach .. If that's the standard, then anyone with historical sense is going to dislike the liberties The Good Shepherd takes. If one approaches the film as a work of art, one must still ask if there is truth in the story-telling. Does it convey the sense of the time: the atmosphere, the motivations, the tone, and the challenges? I think we all agree that the film fails that test as well. It fails because it inserts themes we know from our studies of the period were not there: the overarching economic interest, the WASP mafia dominance, the cynicism, the dark perspective."

Here is what the CIA has to say about the film, in more detail.

Anyway, it's worth a watch.  Here's the trailer:

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NA 475 Film

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Adam played a segment from the trailer for Oblivion on Thursdays show.  Pay close attention at :40.


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