THE POWER OF NIGHTMARES

Director Adam Curtis
Year 2004
Starring Sayyid Qutb, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Osama bin Laden, Jamal al-Fadl
Run Time 180min
More Info IMDb

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In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares.

The most frightening of these is the threat of an international terror network. But just as the dreams were not true, neither are these nightmares. THE POWER OF NIGHTMARES explores how the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organised terrorist network is an illusion. It is a myth that has spread unquestioned through politics, the security services and the international media.

At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neo-conservatives and the radical Islamists. Both were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world. These two groups have changed the world but not in the way either intended. Together they created today's nightmare vision of an organised terror network. A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. Those with the darkest fears became the most powerful.

I. Baby It's Cold Outside
Should we be worried about the threat from organised terrorism or is it simply a phantom menace being used to stop society from falling apart?

II. The Phantom Victory
Part two looks at how two groups, radical Islamists and neo-conservatives with seemingly opposing ideologies came together to defeat a common enemy.

III. The Shadows In The Cave
The Power of Nightmares assesses whether the threat from a hidden and organised terrorist network is an illusion. In the concluding part of the series, the program explains how the illusion was created and who benefits from it. "In an age when all the grand ideas have lost credibility, fear of a phantom enemy is all the politicians have left to maintain their power."

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