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The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom? (2007)

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The Trap is a series of three films by Bafta-winning producer Adam Curtis (The Century of the Self, The Power of Nightmares) that explains the origins of our contemporary, narrow idea of freedom. It shows how a simplistic model of human beings as self-seeking, almost robotic, creatures led to today's idea of freedom. In the first episode, Curtis examines the rise of game theory during the Cold War and the way in which its mathematical models of human behavior filtered into economic thought.

Filmmaker Adam Curtis has also directed:

The Century of Self (2002), The Power of Nightmares (2004), All Watched Over by Machines of Love and Grace (2011).


Part 2: The Lonely Robot
Adam Curtis continues his series of films explaining the origins of our contemporary, narrow and limited idea of freedom. This episode tells the story of how, in the 1990s, politicians from both right and left tried to apply an idea of freedom modeled on the freedom of the market to all other areas of society. Behind it was a scientific model of ourselves as simplified robots, rational calculating beings whose behavior and even feelings could be predicted by numbers. Out of this came today's systems of management - from performance targets to the new categories of mental disorder, and reading the genetic codes buried inside us.

Part 3: We Will Force You To Be Free
The final program focuses on the concepts of positive and negative liberty introduced in the 1950s by Isaiah Berlin.

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Films For Action is a library for people who want to change the world.

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Goal: To rapidly transition to a just, ecologically sustainable, holistic way of living as fast as possible.

We believe the first step to achieve this goal should be an information delivery network that can amplify the impacts of all our efforts 1000 fold. 

Although Films For Action is centered around film - its true objective is the transformation of the world. This means moving away from the unsustainable paradigm we have now to a regenerative paradigm, as fast as humanly possible.  

Film is the medium of delivery -- the catalyst, the metabolizing agent to speed up, amplify and multiply the effects of every transition movement on the planet. And of course, "transition" contains it all - social justice, ecological regeneration, true democracy, egalitarian economics, universal empathy, less cultural insanity and more happiness and well-being.

All of these movements need a media ecosystem that supports this transition, rather than the media we have today which marginalizes it, ignores it, sanitizes it, suppresses it, or actively fights it. There is certainly good coverage across many different news outlets, and the quality and depth varies, but in terms of volume, the good stuff is easily lost in the deluge of superficial concerns.

Watch any network TV channel for 24 hours or read the newspaper for a week, and you will see what we mean. The dominant narratives which drive the national debate and become "common knowledge" is more often superficial, focused on symptoms rather than root causes, and reinforces the conventional "two sides" within the status quo. The lies and spin promoted by figures in power become well known, while voices that challenge and expand the range of debate rarely get heard. But most importantly, the level of repetition and volume of coverage is what counts. What gets covered day after day, and what gets covered once and is forgotten, or not covered at all? That's why we need a media movement that's dedicated to elevating the voices that aren't getting heard. We need media alternatives that make social change its primary focus. That's why Films For Action exists.

Ultimately, we're just one star in this growing constellation of new media, but we aim to do our part by cultivating the best video library dedicated to transition online, and we hope you'll join us