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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 community-powered, digital library for people who want to change the world.

 

Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential a healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

Although we started out hosting community film screenings in the beginning and did so for many years, our digital library eventually became our primary focus. 

Today, with the help of our members (who can add content directly to our site), we've curated over 5,000 of the best documentaries, short films, and videos that can be watched for free online plus several dozen pay-per-view documentaries, sorted into 34 subjects related to changing the world.

And, since there's still so much to learn about that isn't featured in a film, we've also curated 4,000 articles.

To dive in, click the Explore button to sort content by most viewedtop-rated, or newest first, as well as filter content by languagecountry, content type, and 34 topics such as foodsustainabilityeconomicssolutions or big ideas.

 

“Independent media is dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. And when you hear someone speaking from their own experience - whether it's a Palestinian child or an Israeli grandmother or an uncle in Afghanistan or a refugee in the Calais refugee camp - it changes you. It breaks the sound barrier. It challenges the stereotypes and the caricatures that fuel the hate groups. You may not agree with what you hear - I mean, how often do we even agree with our family members? - but you begin to understand where they're coming from. That understanding is the beginning of peace. I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. We have to take the media back.” - Amy Goodman, Place to B at COP21