A series of three films about the colonisation of mankind by the machines people have built. Although we don't realise this, the way we see the world today is through the eyes of computers. Computers have failed to liberate us and instead have distorted and simplified our view of the world.
1. Love and Power. This is the story of the dream that arose in the 1990s about computers being able to create a new kind of stable world. They would bring about a new kind of global capitalism free of all risk and without the boom and bust of the past. They would also abolish political power and create a new kind of democracy through the Internet where millions of individuals would be connected as nodes in cybernetic systems - without hierarchy.
2. The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts. This is the story of how our modern scientific idea of nature, the self-regulating ecosystem, is actually a machine fantasy. It has little to do with the real complexity of nature. It is based on cybernetic ideas that were projected on to nature in the 1950s by ambitious scientists. A static machine theory of order that sees humans and everything else on the planet, as components - cogs - in a system.
3. The Monkey in the Machine and the Machine in the Monkey. This episode looks at why we humans find this machine vision so beguiling. The film argues it is because all political dreams of changing the world for the better seem to have failed - so we have retreated into machine-fantasies that say we have no control over our actions because they excuse our failure.
Grab your thinking cap, settle down, and enjoy some time with of one of the UKs most revelatory filmmakers. In this series of three films, Adam Curtis argues that we have been colonised by the machines we have built. ( ) As usual, Curtis illustrates his ideas by telling an extraordinary range of stories, from novelist Ayn Rands tragic love affairs, to the dreams and the frightening reality of the hippie communes, to the brutal politics of the Belgian Congo. In an age disillusioned by politics, this machine ideology seemed to offer a new way of ordering the world. But the shift in ideologies has come at a very high price the idea that progress and political struggle can change the world for the better. (Sheffield Doc Fest)