If you’re going to get someone riled up with something like The Shock Doctrine you have to give them a place to put their energy. The problem with a lot of the documentaries that I’m seeing lately is that they’re trying to state facts without a plan of action, which is admirable but doesn’t help move an audience to make change. The Shock Doctrine is obviously an anti-right wing film, especially when they introduce Bush as the “The new enemy” but they still walk the “just the facts” line. You can tell this film has more to offer than what’s on the surface, so if you have something to say, just say it!
The film is powerful, no questions asked, but that’s not always enough. One of my biggest problems with the film is assuming that modern culture is greater or more knowledgeable than past cultures which is far from true. People have not changed that much over time. We are not becoming more “Shock Resistant” as the film stated and there was nothing in the movie to support that claim.
As FDR says twice in the film, “there is nothing to fear but fear itself.” That statement is just as relevant today as it was then. People are still scared of the unknown and as long as parents have children to protect, a goal to achieve, things to acquire and ways of judging one another, people will continue to fear things around them and buy things to protect themselves from such fears. It would be great to find a solution to the problem but the film offers none.
Further to the point, people have been fighting the government and the government has been trying to control people with rationed violence since the beginning of time. This is nothing new.
That being said, the fact that the film provoked a number a huge responses and thoughts among audience members leaving the theater, it means it was a success and well worth a watch and a discussion after.
It might have been better if they would have focused more on one aspect of the film instead of covering to many different topics over such a vast period of time. It was more of a history lesson that made you second guess some things, instead of a call to action like it should have been, but it’s still worth a watch!