Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Power of Nightmares Part 1

The American Nightmare has been to date one of my favorite videos that we have watched for this class and I am rather excited to watch next week. With that said I would like to point out one flaw I found with the film. Interestingly enough this is a flaw that made me more attracted to piece. What the BBC did with this film was the further production of this binary system. There are the Neo Conservatives in America and the Muslim extremists in Egypt. This idea made for a great story telling device that simplifies a complex course of events. After watching it is hard to see it the transgression in a different manner but the truth being is that there was a lot more going on behind the current as is with every situation.

However I do believe it was quite brilliant in the manner the film framed these two groups as overly similar but at the same time can fundamentally not co-exist. The story telling method the contrasted the rise of both groups in the same time frame was very intriguing. As well the first part of this series has done a great job in exploring the past. All to often we are confronted with the story of the here and now but ignore what got us here and now. The film makers managed to show, with what I think was little bias, how these two groups rose up and their reasoning behind their ideological growth into the current incarnations.

I find it hard to pick out specific moments in the film that were my favorite but rather I really enjoyed, as I have said, how the story unfolds. They attack the issues from a different angle than I am used to. Maybe this is because it is a BBC production and it did not come out of the US. I think this must play an important role because they are able to have a comment on American culture and politics in a manner not usually addressed. In this regard then I would say that the moment s covering American history were particularly intriguing to me. I will hold my final recommendations on this series until I have viewed it in its entirety, but as it stands now I believe that people who are interested in the world of terror that we live in today should watch this to gain some perspective.


  1. I agree that this film is very valuable in educating people on how we graduated to the level of political fear we are at today. However the presentation of Neo-conservatives in America and Muslim extremists in Egypt was pretty confusing to me. The film flip-flopped between these two groups in such a way that I was unaware of the setting and time period on numerous occasions. It felt like a lot of information was being thrown at the viewer without a whole lot of concrete context. For example, images from prisons in the Middle East get confusing when both Americans and Muslims are involved in sending people to torturous camps. Even through the somewhat disorganized plot, though, this film is incredibly thought-provoking and more unbiased than a typical American viewer is used to.

    1. I agree that this is one of the most interesting films we have watched thus far. I also liked how the film traced these two groups rise to power of using false threats to perpetuate fear. While this film did tell another binary discourse, I thought it did so in a much different way compared to traditional storytelling. Most media always sets up a story of good versus evil, as we can even see with these two political groups; however, this film presents two evils and no real hero (at least with the first part of the series). I think that is why I enjoyed it so much though because I wasn’t forced to take a side I could just simply absorb information.