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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